SpaceX’s fleet of Starlink satellites rare photobombs observations of Comet Neowise by astronomers – Technology News, Firstpost


Since July 14, the Comet Neowise or C / 2020 F3 was visible in the night sky, and will remain visible until August 2. The celestial event that has happened once in every 7,000 years has created a lot of buzz in the astronomical community, with professionals and amateurs alike looking to capture it in action.

However, not all astronomers seem to be successful. Elon Musks’ herd of Starlink satellites under SpaceX appear to have photobombed beautiful images of the rare sighting of the comet. Astronomers have taken to Twitter to express their indignation.

Comet Neowise on SpaceX’s Starlink photobombs on its journey, Image Credit: Twitter / Julien Girard @djulik

Daniel López from El Cielo de Canarias (The Sky of the Canary Islands) captured an image of Comet Neowise which was completely drowned by the Starlink fleet. He had posted it on Facebook, after which astronomer Julien Girard tweeted the image on Twitter, complain about the intrusion.

“Astronomers, astrophysicists and astrophotographers are concerned about the large deployment of small satellites orbiting the Earth,” said astrophotographer Daniel López, who took a photo of the disturbed Neowise. Gizmodo.

Other astrophotography enthusiasts have also taken Twitter to talk about the threat. Reports from the fleet, which now numbers more than 400 satellites, have captured crumbling images, time lapses and complete comet occultation, have come from all over the world.

On an earlier occasion, Starlink satellites were confused with unidentified flying objects, because no one had seen anything like it before.

A report of Science en direct explains the intricacies of capturing celestial objects in the sky. He says: “Telescopes, like consumer cameras, generally use long exposures in their scientific work. Starlink appears to be particularly reflective and orbit at an altitude that can leave light trails on the telescope’s sensors and pollute data. “

Been there, done that

This is not the first time that Starlink and its founder Elon Musk have been criticized by the astronomical community. In fact, when the first two Starlink satellites were launched, many members had raised the possibility of these bright satellites disrupting their photography as well as the simple discovery of a new object in the sky.

Musk then assured them that he and his team were fixing the problem to make sure that those satellites providing high-speed internet would not interfere with their work.

Starlink satellite train visible in the night sky seen in this video captured by satellite tracker Marco Langbroek in Leiden, the Netherlands on May 24, a day after SpaceX launched 60 Starlink satellites on a Falcon 9 rocket. Credit to ‘image: Marco Langbroek via SatTrackBlog

During the eighth launch of the Starlink mission, the satellites were equipped with what they called VisorSat this would act as a set of darkened shades that can prevent the sun from reflecting off the bright parts of each satellite. The visors unfold and block out the sun, preventing glare. Musk said the VisorSats would have a “massive effect” on the brightness of the satellites.

He said the goal was to make satellites invisible to the naked eye and minimize their impact on astronomy by ensuring that the downsides they pose do not hamper scientists’ ability to make news. discoveries.

There are currently more than 422 Starlink satellites orbiting above Earth, with the goal of providing high-speed internet by 2021 as part of Space’s Starlink mission. The satellites are expected to become operational once 800 satellites have been activated, which is still a few launches away.

And while Elon Musk is the first, he is will certainly not be the last. Jeff Bezos’ Amazon has previously said they are working on a Kuiper project that will launch 3,236 satellites into space to provide the internet. There are plenty of other companies vying for this slice of the pie and it remains to be seen how astronomers will deal with these rotating internet providers and whether there will be any government regulations on this.

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