Starlink Sunday

IS STARLINK A DISASTER FOR ASTRONOMY? Last May, Elon Musk of SpaceX wrote: “Starlink won’t be seen by anyone unless looking very carefully & will have ~0% impact on advancements in astronomy.” Here is the latest evidence to the contrary. On Nov. 26th, Alan Conrad video recorded a naked-eye “Starlink meteor shower” over his home in Liverpool, Nova Scotia:

“The satellites flew overhead between 5 am and 6 am local time,” says Conrad. “They were about as bright as 3rd magnitude stars.”

Starlink is a venture by SpaceX. The idea is to launch 12,000 or more satellites into Earth orbit, surrounding our planet and providing global internet coverage even to people in remote areas. The first batch of 60 Starlink satellites launched in May 2019 surprised astronomers and prompted the International Astronomical Union to issue a statement of concern. Filling the sky with thousands of artificial stars might not be good for astronomy, they suggested.

The satellites Conrad recorded were from the 2nd batch of 60 launched in Nov. 2019. They are fading somewhat as the ascend to their operational orbits more than 500 km high. Even at that altitude, however, satellites from the first Starlink launch in May remain visible at magnitudes ranging from +4 (naked-eye) to +7 (easy for telescopes). The 2nd batch will remain visible as well.

Is Starlink a disaster for astronomy? “Disaster” does come from ancient Greek words meaning “bad star”…. This is how Elon Musk can fix the damage.

@ SPACEWEATHER

About Den

Always in search of interesting things to post. Armed with knowledge and dangerous with the ladies.
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16 Responses to Starlink Sunday

  1. Micki says:

    Is it possible to wake up ANY day without news of yet another shooting, or stabbing, or violent other mayhem?

    Like

    • David B. Benson says:

      I fear that it will just grow worser.

      Like

      • Micki says:

        Some studies report our ancestors mastered fire much earlier than we used to believe they did.

        I read somewhere that gathering around a fire promoted companionship and early story-telling that also led to less physically aggressive behaviors and greater cooperation. Gathering around the fire accelerated the evolution of language.

        We no longer “gather around the campfire” — we stare at our devices, isolating ourselves, losing verbal skills, getting ticked off by what we’re “fed.” When story-telling (sharing) has no value, it leads to aggression.

        Not scientific…but, I think it’s a possible factor. 🙂

        Like

  2. Micki says:

    ….other violent mayhem

    Like

  3. David B. Benson says:

    Took 32 minutes to the Old Post Office; slow, no reason why.

    Like

  4. Den says:

    Put up my Xmas tree and put lights on it, other stuff tomorrow.
    Snow about an inch deep this AM, most melted, another redux tonite.
    Temps creeping up to the 40’s, The storm persists.

    Like

  5. Den says:

    What does everyone think of additional lights in the night sky?

    Like

  6. Carol says:

    It rained last night, nothing today. Snow staying away, or is it? I can see flurries on my 4 outdoor cameras, and a very thin layer of it on the wrought iron deck table.

    Hair cut tomorrow morning, thank goodness. I really let myself go, hair is awful. Dyed it yesterday, so at least THAT is done.

    Jill will pick up some things I need to make my salads. I need cash, we’ll stop by my credit union on the way to my eye doctor Wednesday. So, that’s my schedule..

    Like

  7. Den says:

    Would they interfere with Earth-based space observation?
    I believe so but apparently we have no choice in the matter.

    Propaganda located here.

    Like

  8. Den says:

    Cats don’t have Hard Hats:

    Like

  9. ٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶arol says:

    “A cataract is a clouding of the normally clear lens of your eye. For people who have cataracts, seeing through cloudy lenses is a bit like looking through a frosty or fogged-up window. Clouded vision caused by cataracts can make it more difficult to read, drive a car (especially at night) or see the expression on a friend’s face.

    A cataract may make light from the sun or a lamp seem too bright or glaring. . Colors may not appear as bright as they once did.”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I think the problem with my eyes are my cataracts, which last time I saw the eye doctor, 6 months ago, he said were still too small to laser off. I think they’ve grown big enough now. My vision this month doesn’t seem to be related to the MD, which progresses slowly and has to do with not enough light getting into one’s eye.

    The description above describes my problem, even to the being bothered by bright lights. There are so many windows in Jill’s new addition, that when I was dog sitting, I couldn’t watch the TV in there.

    Well, I’ll find out the scoop Wednesday. Perhaps laser eye surgery is in my cards, and very soon.

    Like

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