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Datalord

Starlink satellites. Disaster looms

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Ok, fellow hobbyists, time to make some noise.

On May 24, 2 days ago, SpaceX launched the first pack of 60 satellites in the StarLink project. Elon Musk intends to cover our airspace in 12000 of these in Low Earth Orbit. Tonight I got the first glimpse of what that means. Only 2 days in!

I was shooting the Iris Nebula and randomly checked my frame (which is borked for bad tracking, but that's another thing).

image.thumb.png.d07e1d3484262fea9793b4674c348ed3.png

I then checked the satellite tracker , and yes, sure enough, they flew right past.

image.png.1db899d285b7c49fd6768fdb9b26b49d.png

Yes, I know, we have the tools available to the clear these images with stacking. But imagine every single frame from a night contains this. 200 times more of these will be in the sky by the end of this.

We already messed up our night skies with unnecessary light pollution, I don't think we need to make it worse by placing junk up there.

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OMG thats a disaster!! shoot those things down i say!

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23 minutes ago, Sunshine said:

OMG thats a disaster!! shoot those things down i say!

Yessir..  just let me get a GPS fix on it.......

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There needs to be regulation about this!

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4 minutes ago, orion25 said:

There needs to be regulation about this!

Its the old saying " money talks".

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32 minutes ago, paul mc c said:

Its the old saying " money talks".

😫 Unfortunate but true, Paul.

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Nobody but us looks up anymore...they are all looking down at their cell phones!!🙄

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Here's a scary thought: what if SpaceX mission to Mars gets a catastrpohic end when the rocket collides with one of his many satellites? If we keep filling space with man made objects, this will become a possible scenario.

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Terrible!

I posted on the same subject on Friday after having read about it on the BBC. Here is my post:

 

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I don't image yet like so many here, but I hope to fiddle in it a bit. This will be a problem, but already the little wide field I do has an incredible number or satellites and aircraft.

With that said, don't forget how this might help those with no internet, which the number might astound you.

Where I live in Florida, my only affordable option is satellite driven internet, or dialup, and with cellphones, landline service is slowly going the way of the dinosaurs. 

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2 hours ago, maw lod qan said:

With that said, don't forget how this might help those with no internet, which the number might astound you.

The number is 3 billion. Yes, that is a crazy amount of people without internet, but much the same way that 3 billion people don't have a car, I don't think polluting our way to the future is the way to go. The same argument was used CFC gasses when we learned they were bad, same argument is used with CO2 etc. etc.

Once we learn something is bad, it is bad for everyone, regardless of whether you were in the "lucky" bunch who has had benefit from the initial ignorance. And this is bad. It just is.

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6 hours ago, wimvb said:

Here's a scary thought: what if SpaceX mission to Mars gets a catastrpohic end when the rocket collides with one of his many satellites? If we keep filling space with man made objects, this will become a possible scenario.

Humanity inadvertently makes a prison out of its home planet. Scary indeed.

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Posted (edited)

This is very worrying, especially from a personal point of view since I make my living out of deep sky imaging. I'm not really much up on the physics of satellite orbits but I did read that, being in low orbit, they will affect the twilight sky most. I can't say I followed this reasoning. Anyone care to comment?

On the optimistic side the move away from CCD towards CMOS, with more but shorter exposures, will counteract and may entirely eliminate the recorded trails however numerous they are. Some regions are plagued by geostationaries - the Witch Head comes to mind - but even a stack of 20 subs in Sigma dispenses with them.

And finally the software gurus may be able to write routines for identifying and removing lines. Those with which I'm familiar at the moment can only remove them once identified but where there's a will there's a way.

None of this alters the fact that filling space up with 'stuff' should not be a decision made without global democratic consent.

Olly

Edited by ollypenrice
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I've never had a satellite trail that sigma stacking didn't remove.

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I like spotting satellites at night, but this is like shooting fish in a barrel.

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I remember when there was just one :D

Alan

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16 minutes ago, Alien 13 said:

I remember when there was just one :D

Alan

Do you mean the Moon or Sputnik? And what excitement the launching of Sputnik gave me as a kid in short trousers!

Ian

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3 hours ago, The Admiral said:

Do you mean the Moon or Sputnik? And what excitement the launching of Sputnik gave me as a kid in short trousers!

Ian

Sputnik then Telstar....

Alan

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Posted (edited)

I am just curious as to what the initial costs of launch vs recovery are. Personally I think before the other 11940 are launched, the SpaceX team, NASA, ESA, etc., should start thinking of safely bringing down used satellites, spent rocket motors, other space debris, etc., before anything else goes up.

Edited by Philip R
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13 hours ago, ollypenrice said:

This is very worrying, especially from a personal point of view since I make my living out of deep sky imaging. I'm not really much up on the physics of satellite orbits but I did read that, being in low orbit, they will affect the twilight sky most. I can't say I followed this reasoning. Anyone care to comment?

On the optimistic side the move away from CCD towards CMOS, with more but shorter exposures, will counteract and may entirely eliminate the recorded trails however numerous they are. Some regions are plagued by geostationaries - the Witch Head comes to mind - but even a stack of 20 subs in Sigma dispenses with them.

And finally the software gurus may be able to write routines for identifying and removing lines. Those with which I'm familiar at the moment can only remove them once identified but where there's a will there's a way.

None of this alters the fact that filling space up with 'stuff' should not be a decision made without global democratic consent.

Olly

The low orbit is correct for some, at least in this megaconstellation. The satellites will be spread in height as well, but yes, the orbits will enter full shadow for much of the night. On the other hand, as soon as other companies decide to make their megaconstellations with 12000 more satellites in higher and lower orbits, we can say goodbye to all that.

For us imagers I think we will lose a lot of frames once the 12000 are up. There was another thread on SGL with an image showing no less than 26 satellite trails in one frame. With 60 of them in orbit. Even if we have better algorithms, we all strive for the best data possible and this just isn't it.

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