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Fifty thousand telecom satellites will make astronomy impossible!


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Please sign this petition, 50,000 Satellites is going to ruin your views: -

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/community_petitions/SpaceEx_Starlink_Fifty_thousand_telecom_satellites_will_make_astronomy_impossible/?aVIigpb&newuser=1

Dear amateurs of astronomy. We are several million around our planet.
If your observations suffer from light pollution, just wait what is coming.
Are you, like our friends the professional astronomers, worried about the deployments of more than 50 000 satellites in low orbit? This deployment have already started by companies like SpaceEx Starlink, Amazon Kuipid, OneWeb, Globalstar etc.
Isn't it already irritating having our observations and photos of the sky deteriorated by light pollution? With these >50 000 (!) satellites for fast Internet communications our observations will be severely compromised, perhaps even impossible.
Please sign this petition and share it.
Our cousins in the The International Astronomical Union (for professional astronomers) have already protested against these projects (albeit very humbly ) https://www.iau.org/news/announcements/detail/ann19035/
And now it's our time to stop this folly.

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Im sure sigma clipping or something similar will take care of it for astro-photographers. And hopefully the brightness of these objects will have little effect on visual. Either way it will be a mere

Now there's an interesting point.  I run quite an aggressive ad-blocker.  Some sites refuse to serve data to me because of that.  But I just won't ever buy something advertised to me in that way.  In

Perhaps each satellite should be required to carry a large parasol, to be deployed during the hours when it is between the Earth and Sun in an attempt to reduce the effects of climate change :D J

Forgive my stupidity, but if they are telecoms satellites wont they be geostationary? If so, wont they just be extra pin points of light. Sounds a lot but the sky is very big.

Sorry, just a bit skeptical.

cheers

gaj

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Im sure sigma clipping or something similar will take care of it for astro-photographers. And hopefully the brightness of these objects will have little effect on visual. Either way it will be a mere annoyance and not the end of the hobby.

On this ocassion though I think the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages (an unpopular opinion here I know)

I saw a very scary looking 3d animation of what 50,000 satellites looks like spinning around the globe, but the reality is if you scale the satellites down to their actual size - its just a photo of earth.

Money talks and like the hundreds of thousands of UK residents who have waited 10+ years for faster internet in rural areas I will be signing up the day the service launches. BT Openreach had their chance and failed miserably, its just not a practical solution and stuff like Starlink is. Thats before you get into the 100% coverage, worldwide access, globe changing benefits - the sort of thing that could potentially change the entire economic & educational capabilities of a country.

If the price of bringing fast internet to 3rd world countries to provide education in the best possible way to billions is having to lose a few subs during an imaging run then sign me up, the thousands of other advantages it will bring is just a bonus at that stage.

There will be petitions going on for the next few decades, after every launch, after every newspaper article. But its a bit like asking Ford to stop making cars because of rising polution - not going to happen, completely impracticle and most wouldn't sign that petition if it meant giving up your own car too.

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36 minutes ago, gajjer said:

Forgive my stupidity, but if they are telecoms satellites wont they be geostationary? If so, wont they just be extra pin points of light. Sounds a lot but the sky is very big.

Sorry, just a bit skeptical.

cheers

gaj

No, they're not geostationary, he's putting them into low earth orbit.

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5 minutes ago, DaveS said:

And I'm fairly rural but have 4G mobile and 65 Mbps broadband. Some of us, eg Gina, have gigabit FTTP.

4G is a potential solution for me, except for data caps. I would easily burn through most of them. FTTP is £20,000 in roadworks alone.

4G is available in a lot of semi-rural locations primarily due to overflow or road network coverage - but haven't heard of any comms companies going out of their way to install it in low density areas where its not available.

There were plenty of petitions against 4G too. If 4G became outlawed tomorrow and you were stuck with dialup speeds (or no internet) browsing would be a very different experience.

Truth is, even if they never offer the service in the UK, and I dont directly benefit, I still think its a good solution.

 

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My understanding is that this represents a massive increase in the number of satellites in low earth orbit.  I'm not even sure if the number was in four figures before this project started.  Keeping track of everything and trying to make sure there are no collisions and managing what happens after any collision surely has to become considerably more difficult when there are so many, especially when there's so much other rubbish in the same orbit.

James

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13 minutes ago, Ouroboros said:

What have professional astronomers said about this? Anyone know? 

There's been some coverage of it on space.com.  I think they're pretty unhappy about the situation generally.

James

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34 minutes ago, JamesF said:

This could be a real issue, but im not sure how long it would take the Kessler knock on effect to 'happen' - a month? a year? 100 years? - space junk problem will need to get worse before it get better, when SpaceX start losing million dollar satellites, or wiping out other million dollar satellites and facing the legal hassle that ensues I can imagine they will be the most effectively positioned company to do something about it. If they are generating income from it then it will make sense for them to protect that income.

I just cant believe that they are operating in total ignorance to the problem when they have some pretty smart people there and the entire business is fundamentally dependant on launching of ships, rockets, satellites etc safely.

If we never cleared up debris from car crashes then the roads would be very hazardous now, but wouldn't have put a stop to us moving from horses to cars. It just required coming up with a solution to clean up after each crash.

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1 minute ago, upahill said:

I just cant believe that they are operating in total ignorance to the problem when they have some pretty smart people there and the entire business is fundamentally dependant on launching of ships, rockets, satellites etc safely.

I'm inclined to agree.  It would seem stupid not to have a plan for managing this stuff.  I know that you're not allowed to launch a satellite in the US without having a plan to get it out of the way at the end of its life, but there must be a lot of other considerations, like what happens if one gets hit by a piece of junk and stops responding completely, or responds randomly and becomes a risk to satellites operated by other companies or even other nations?  I wonder if that sort of information shouldn't be in the public domain right from the start.

That Kessler article suggests that one satellite is "destroyed" each year at present -- about 0.1% of the total number.  I don't know what "destroyed" really means, but I'm not sure it's the same as "deliberately and safely rendered inactive".  A fifty-fold increase in the number of affected satellites could lead to a huge increase in the amount of junk flying about.  I'm in no position to argue for or against Kessler's idea, but just the sheer waste of resources if the attrition rate gets significantly larger would be quite shocking.

James

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Perhaps each satellite should be required to carry a large parasol, to be deployed during the hours when it is between the Earth and Sun in an attempt to reduce the effects of climate change :D

James

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I believe you are right that there are requirements for space craft to have active deorbit mechanisms, but I think the first batch of Starlink satellites were at an orbit height that meant they would naturally deorbit at end of life, so it isn't required.

That would leave problem debris being satellites that are old and didnt have deorbit tech, satellites damaged in collisions at an height where a passive deorbit was unlikely, satellites put up by people not playing by the rules and rogue satellites where the tech to bring them down again malfunctions. There are some initiatives/designs/ideas for tackling those including grappling cleanup craft, nets and my personal favorite laser beams.

We dont even need to "catch" debris, just identify it and have some way to influence it into a self degrading orbit.

I have visions of moon bases with giant debris guns, but im sure someone more knowledgeable with come up with a slightly more discreet solution 🤣

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12 minutes ago, Peter Drew said:

Get some shares in solar equipment.   😀

It seems a bit extreme putting so many satellites up there just to provide a few sunspots for impatient solar imagers. :wink2:
My sun is a magnet for airliners. Hardly a day passes when one or two do not fly across "upside down."
"Fasten your seatbelts," takes on a whole new meaning! :ohmy:

Returning to the subject matter. Who pays for the Internet when the "advertising bubble" bursts?

What happens when the cost of the bandwidth for ads, trackers and cookies greatly exceeds global income from all advertising sales?
Supersaturation by ads is already highly stressful for many browsers despite add blockers. Myself included!
Trackers and cookies are running into the tens of thousands, per day, for quite ordinary, Internet users!
I am so sick of ads that I will never buy anything [ever again] which is spammed onto my screen.-
Not without my personal invitation and button confirmed permission.

Time for a Freedom From Advertising Movement!  :thumbsup:

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11 minutes ago, Rusted said:

Returning to the subject matter. Who pays for the Internet when the "advertising bubble" bursts?

What happens when the cost of the bandwidth for ads, trackers and cookies greatly exceeds global income from all advertising sales?

Now there's an interesting point.  I run quite an aggressive ad-blocker.  Some sites refuse to serve data to me because of that.  But I just won't ever buy something advertised to me in that way.  In fact I think it's fair to say that I am as completely unresponsive to advertising as it is possible to be.  By blocking ads I am therefore doing the advertisers a favour, because they will not be charged for me being shown an advert that I will not respond to.

James

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LEO. So presumably messages bounce off the nearest passing satellite and a several satellites may be involved with any one message. Hmm. Interesting.  My question would then be, how do you deploy that many satellites. Do they pop them out the back of a single rocket? Sounds like an awful lot of rockets and pollution.

Certainly could mess up my pictures - if the clouds would ever clear for me to take some.

If its worth doing I suspect that China will be up for it and you can sign all the petitions you like but you wont stop them.

Ah well. It was fun while it lasted. Well frustrating more than fun. Perhaps that will be the new challenge. How to get a frame that doesn't have a streak on it. Or software that has 'streak removal' capability.

Sighhhh.

gaj

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