Astronomy Group Says Starlink and Other Satellite Constellations Could Threaten Science

The diagonal lines stretching across this telescope image are reflected light from 25 of the first batch of Starlink satellites launched by SpaceX. (Image: © Victoria Girgis/Lowell Observatory)
The International Astronomical Union (IAU) is voicing concerns about the risk that SpaceX’s Starlink and other planned massive satellite constellations in low Earth orbit pose to astronomy.

By Meghan Bartels |

The group, most famous for its role in „demoting“ Pluto from the rank of planet, represents more than 13,000 astronomers worldwide. In its statement, released yesterday (June 3), the IAU pointed out that while there are several megaconstellations under development, no one knows quite what consequences such huge numbers of low Earth orbit satellites could have on astronomy.

„The organisation, in general, embraces the principle of a dark and radio-quiet sky as not only essential to advancing our understanding of the Universe of which we are a part, but also as a resource for all humanity and for the protection of nocturnal wildlife,“ the statement reads. „We do not yet understand the impact of thousands of these visible satellites scattered across the night sky and despite their good intentions, these satellite constellations may threaten both.“

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