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SpaceX's Internet satellites could be a problem for astronomers



The problem is not as bad as originally feared when the satellites had not yet fully aligned their solar panels and were therefore particularly bright (see video below). The vehicles are said to have a orbital period of five years before descending to fiery death in the atmosphere. So this may just be a temporary problem. Elon Musk claimed that the Starlink constellation "can not be seen by anyone" unless they do their best.

Nevertheless, the executive was aware of the potential pitfalls and vowed to do something about it. SpaceX would ensure that Starlink has "no significant impact" on astronomy, Musk said, adding that he asked the team to reduce the albedo (reflectivity) of the satellites for the future. He was even open to the idea of ​​attaching telescopes to Starlink bodies to give a clearer view of the room. While these movements will not completely relieve the attention of sky watchers, the company is at least aware of its potential impact in an era in which crowded orbit and space debris are very real issues.


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