We are living in the 21st century where technology is playing an impactful role to make our lifestyle more convenient. In the past, we never thought that we could go beyond the earth’s atmosphere. People could see astronomical objects, but the present scenario has got the touch of advanced technology. Satellites are revolving around the earth. Thus, it is delivering high-speed internet across the globe and along with it, it is elevating the entertainment level. However, these are some basic things that satellites do. There are many more things that it can deliver.
However, we are not going to tell you about the capabilities of satellites. What we are going to tell you is why SpaceX’s satellites are creating a headache for astronomers.
Before getting into it, you must know who astronomers are. An astronomer is basically a scientist, and they specifically work in the field of astronomy. Astronomers observe various astronomical objects such as moons, planets, galaxies, comets and stars.
SpaceX is an aerospace company that launched Starlink that consists of many internet satellites. It is also called a megaconstellation.
Now, this particular megaconstellation has become a major concern for the astronomers. They are facing difficulties to study the celestial or astronomical objects. Starlink satellites are outshining the astronomical objects.
Starlink had been launched so that it can deliver fast internet to the entire globe. Well, it is doing its job very well, but it has made the job difficult for the astronomers. If you are into stargazing, you will definitely have a problem with Starlink. Starlink reflects the sunlight so much that it can be clearly seen with the naked eye at night. The brightness passes across the heaven in such a way that you will start seeing thousands of beads glowing on a celestial string.
After the successful launch of the first 60 satellites, more than 650 Starlink satellites had been placed in the orbit. This is where it is creating a headache for the astronomers. It is hampering the astronomical observations. The scientific community has filed several complaints. The American Astronomical Society and The National Science Foundation has released a report. They made several recommendations in order to mitigate this problem.
Well, the good news is that SpaceX is planning to launch DarkSat—a prototype satellite. It consists of high-quality anti-reflective coating. As per the ground observation, it does not reflect so much light. The brightness can be reduced up to 50% after the successful launch of DarkSat.
Although the astronomers are facing problems at present, the future scenario will not be so difficult for them.