If the sky is getting brighter and brighter, it is not because of the stars but because of the mega-stars of the satellites scattered there. So much so that an astronomer has predicted that soon there will be a satellite within fifteen points of light in the night sky. But what does it matter, since many of us in urban areas no longer see the stars illuminating the sky.
I am chatting with my neighbors outside my farm in Saskatchewan whom I have invited to look up at the sky.With me . Wonderful and after wonder And light that has traveled through space for more than 20 million years In order to reach our point of view, our conversation inevitably deviates towards it About our teleworking companies and complaints In rural areas. My neighbor mentioned while passing that he had just changed suppliers .
I look up and notice a bright satellite moving across the sky. This is probably oneSince they now represent about half And that they are particularly bright. I took a deep breath and thought about how we would all pay for Starlink’s internet access.
I don’t blame my neighbors for their choice. Here, like many rural areas in North America, noOn the Internet, and given that many people are working and studying from home during the epidemic, we want to do everything we can to make our lives easier.
However, I know how much the cost can be. My article will appear The Astronomical Journal GiftsIf the satellite companies continue their current projects. I also know that because of the geometry of light And Selected, 50e Parallel to the north, where I live, would be the most severely damaged part of the world.
In the absence of control, I know that in the near future aThere will be a satellite in the sky moving unbearably, and not . It would be disastrous for astronomical research and would completely change the night sky around the world.
To determine how much the night sky will be affected by the reflected sunlight from future satellite megaconstructions, we have developed aTo predict Satellites can be seen from different parts of the world at different times of the night and at different times . We also made one Based on this simulation.
Illumination and simulation of the number of satellites during a full night parallel to 50ᵉ north of the summer solstice. Sam Lawler
Our model uses 65,000 satellites in the orbit of four megaconstriction companies:Starlink and (United States), (UK) and Sternet / GW (China). We have calibrated to match our simulations Because they are by far the most numerous.
According to our research, we will not be able to survive this new light pollution from satellites anywhere on Earth, not even at the North Pole.
Since its first launch it has made some progress in dimming its satellite light, but . Our simulations show that from anywhere on Earth, in any season, we will be able to see ten or even hundreds of satellites for at least an hour before sunrise and after sunset.
Currently, escaping from it is relatively easyThe city will benefit from the starry sky when camping or going to the chalet, but, according to our research, we will not be able to escape from this new one. Satellites anywhere in the world, not even at the North Pole.
The hardest places on Earth will be 50 degrees north and south, near cities like London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Kiev, Vancouver, Calgary and my home. A.To these About 200 satellites will be visible Naked all night
I study dynamicsOf The afterlife consists of small bodies that lie . My research is based on broad field and long term images Exhibition Learn more about our history .
Telescope observation, which is essential for our knowledgeIs going to be To be successful due to uncontrolled development of space.
Astronomers are developingBut they will require the time and effort that megaconstriction companies should anticipate.
The Internet by Starlink may seem cheaper than other options in rural areas, but that’s your reason. One of them is the air pollution caused by hundreds of launches This system needs to be built and maintained.
Each installation of the satellite sends rocket parts and other debris onto oneAlready crowded, which increases the risk . A part of these Will eventually return to Earth, and will be the regions of the planet with the highest density of satellites .
Starlink plans to replace 42,000 satellites after five years of operation, which would require an average of 25 satellites or about six tons of material to be de-orbited per day. The mass of these satellites will not disappear – it will scatter in the upper layers. As satellites are mainly formed Of They risk particle formation Evaporates in the upper atmosphere, which can destroy And causes global warming.
This question has not yet been studied in depth because the orbits of the lower earth are not subject to any environmental laws.
The rule of the sky
At the moment, the orbit of the lower Earth, where all these satellites are expected to evolve, is almost uncontrollable. There is no standard for air pollution due to light pollution, air pollution caused by launches, re-entry into the atmosphere..
These megaconstructions may not be financially viable in the long run and the speed of internet access may be significantly reduced if many users connect at the same time or if it rains. Yet satellites are now being launched at an alarming rate, and they will not erase the damage to the security of the night sky, atmosphere, and lower Earth orbit, even if the companies go bankrupt.
There is no doubt that in many places people in rural and remote areas have lagged behind in the development of internet usage. But there are many more options that do not incur such high costs. We cannot accept global access ratesWhich people have been able to observe and with whom they have been able to connect since the beginning of their existence.
IfInstead of competition, there may be far fewer satellites in orbit. Changing the design of satellites can make them much fainter, which will reduce their impact on the night sky. We should not choose between astronomy and the Internet.
However, without regulation that change is needed, or a stronger oneOur point of view is that consumers show the importance of the night sky Soon it will change forever.