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StaaaaaarrrrrgggghhhhhhLink...


PhotoGav
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3 minutes ago, PhotoGav said:

That’s how wars start!!

I think Musk has just done a test run on Spain and is about to Blitzkrieg Belgium and France 🤣

Edited by MarkAR
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1 hour ago, PhotoGav said:

The negative impact of the Starlink satellite constellation and other similar large satellite systems is far from 'fake news'. Have a look at any current professional astronomical discussion of the subject, especially the impact this is having / will have on wide field survey projects (e.g. the Vera Rubin Observatory). They are having to try and find work arounds, but there is no guarantee that these will be found or will be effective.

I My apologies, I wasn't trying to infer that all negative reporting on Starlink was "fake news". my point is that on a science-based board dedicated to a science-based hobby there is plenty. Just re-read this thread and see how many people are happy to spout sound-bites without making any attempt to fact-check first.

 

1 hour ago, PhotoGav said:

 The least that SpaceX can do is enter into a discussion. Thankfully, we astrophotographers have sigma rejection algorithms to help tidy up our pretty pictures.

I will keep watching this developing story with great interest. I will also keep telling people that the 'amazing lines of satellite clones marching across the night sky' are not amazing at all...!

Currently SpaceX is the ONLY developer of mega-constellations that is in active discussions with astronomers (as far as I am aware).

Worth remembering too that the 'amazing lines of satellite clones marching across the night sky' are only visible in the initial days after launch. The sats soon move themslves into different orbital altitudes and planes as they boost themselves into their final orbits.

 

 

1 hour ago, Hallingskies said:

And for what?  “Better” internet access?  Some folk may be happy with that, and think it is “progress”. 

I’m not, and I don’t.   

Do a search on here for slow broadband access and gauge their comments. Especially those that now are working from home.

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4 hours ago, Zakalwe said:

Starlink will provide, certainly at first, the US with Internet access.

Gravity is a Hollywood film, and a pretty terrible one at that. It's depiction of how orbital mechanics operate was tenuous at best.

 

Cuivenon seems determined to miss my point. I'm not particularly in favour of Starlink and certainly if there was another way to achieve SpaceX's goals then I'd be in favour of it. However, on the balance, I'm happy to trade a small part of amateur astronomy to achieve those goals. I do think that the impact won't be as bad as some of the hand-wringers make out.

What I am absolutely against is the spread of disinformation and, dare I say it, fake news. This is primarily a science-based hobby discussed on a science-based board. If we can't get simple facts about orbits, reflectivity, and maths correct then the general public has no chance. Parroting nonsense about objects  in very low Earth orbits lasting for decades, or making it impossible to transverse  LEO, especially when those things can be checked in seconds doesn't bode well. We are better than that, people.

anyhoo, an interesting debate.

I don't see how I can be missing the point when I've been directly quoting you. You say you're fine with amateur astronomy being impacted to achieve SpaceX's goals, but what about professional scientific observations? They will arguably be much more effected expecially near earth asteroid hunters, who from my understanding observe nearer to twilight than the rest of us. This is a point you've consistantly refused to answer.

Here's an earlier post of yours:

"Strictly speaking, the motivation is to provide funding to make Man an interplanetary species, just in case a lump of rock from the sky wipes us out. Our species is unique and leaving it on one planet to the vagaries of some random piece of rock is too risky.

I'm comfortable with some home astronomers having their hobbies affected if that's the price."

I would argue it's more important to see the random piece of rock coming in the first place which Starlink in it's current form will make a lot more difficult. Significant Mars colonies are still pie in the sky at this point and despite what you're saying I don't see any reason why they can't fund it without Starlink. Also I don't think Amazon and others will have such lofty goals.

Regarding the reflectivity of the darksat they achieved a magnitude reduction of 55%, which sounds great until you realise it still leaves a big white streak through a photographic image.

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1 hour ago, cuivenion said:

I don't see how I can be missing the point when I've been directly quoting you. You say you're fine with amateur astronomy being impacted to achieve SpaceX's goals, but what about professional scientific observations? They will arguably be much more effected expecially near earth asteroid hunters, who from my understanding observe nearer to twilight than the rest of us. This is a point you've consistantly refused to answer.

 

Its hardly fair to accuse me of "consistently" refusing to answer that point when it's the first time that anyone has mentioned observing near to twilight.
I'm not "fine" with amateur astronomy being impacted, but if that's the price we pay to make mankind interplanetary then it's a price that I'm willing to pay. Does that help with your understanding?

Regarding the professional bodies, I am hopeful that they trash a solution out. As I said earlier, these mega-constellations are not going away and we are only at the start of them. Does a solution exist now? It doesn't appear so. Will a solution exist in the near future? I am hopeful...after all SpaceX have consistently said that they want to minimize the impact and appear to be the only company holding regular talks with the scientific community,

 

1 hour ago, cuivenion said:

I would argue it's more important to see the random piece of rock coming in the first place which Starlink in it's current form will make a lot more difficult.

It's a fair point, hence why it's important that a solution be found.

 

1 hour ago, cuivenion said:

Significant Mars colonies are still pie in the sky at this point and despite what you're saying I don't see any reason why they can't fund it without Starlink. Also I don't think Amazon and others will have such lofty goals.

It's only impossible until someone comes along and does it. Ten years ago respected people in NASA were openly scornful of Musk's idea to make orbital-class boosters reusable. That was supposed to be pie in the sky too. Here we are less than 20 years after SpaceX's inception and they are the biggest launcher on the planet and the cheapest, specifically because they did the impossible possible and made an orbital class booster land after flight. I doubt that I will see "significant Mars colonies" in my lifetime, but I would wager a large sum that I will see SpaceX landing rockets there.  The 7th iteration of the Superheavy test vehicle has been stacked and the 6th is heading to the pad for testing. They are building one booster per month at the moment and I would think that we will see a sub-orbital flight within 12 months. Personally I think that it'd be a brave man to bet against Musk on this.

Regarding funding, Gwynne Shotwell would disagree with you. I'd be more inclined to accept her position in relation to this.

No, Amazon aren't aiming for Mars. One of Bezos' professors in Uni was Gerard O'Neill and he clearly influenced Bezos's thinking. He (Bezos)  outlined his vision in 2019 for having a trillion humans living in orbiting O'Neill cylinders. Blue Origin's progress is very slow though....it's not much younger than SpaceX and it has yet to reach orbit with any craft. Having said that, the methane burning BE-3 is developing well. This will be used to power their New Glenn rocket which will also be reusable and land on a drone ship a-la SpaceX.

Regarding their mega-constellation, they have plans for nearly 600 sats, with launches dependant on the development of the New Glenn booster. Their sats have a longer lifetime than Starlink with their orbits naturally decaying in 10 years.  https://spacenews.com/amazon-lays-out-constellation-service-goals-deployment-and-deorbit-plans-to-fcc/

1 hour ago, cuivenion said:

Regarding the reflectivity of the darksat they achieved a magnitude reduction of 55%, which sounds great until you realise it still leaves a big white streak through a photographic image.

Pretty good for a first stab at it then. I did mention this earlier in the thread that the blackening reduced the visibility, but not to zero. The albedo reduction also caused significant overheating of the sats.

 

Edited by Zakalwe
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2 hours ago, Zakalwe said:

Worth remembering too that the 'amazing lines of satellite clones marching across the night sky' are only visible in the initial days after launch. The sats soon move themslves into different orbital altitudes and planes as they boost themselves into their final orbits.

Very true. That is why I suggest to people who only see them in the first 'marching' phase and are amazed by them, thinking 'how cool', that once they are less conspicuous to the naked eye, they are still very much an issue for astronomers. That's all.

Wouldn't it be ironic if it were the Starlink satellites themselves that ended up defending the Earth from an incoming hazardous object as the shield they form around the Earth broke up the offending rock as it hit them!!

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2 hours ago, Zakalwe said:

Do a search on here for slow broadband access and gauge their comments. Especially those that now are working from home.

I think that defacing the night sky to cure slow broadband is the wrong solution to what is hardly a life-threatening problem. You seem to think otherwise.  And that’s fine.  We agree to differ.

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25 minutes ago, PhotoGav said:

Very true. That is why I suggest to people who only see them in the first 'marching' phase and are amazed by them, thinking 'how cool', that once they are less conspicuous to the naked eye, they are still very much an issue for astronomers. That's all.

Wouldn't it be ironic if it were the Starlink satellites themselves that ended up defending the Earth from an incoming hazardous object as the shield they form around the Earth broke up the offending rock as it hit them!!

That'd be like expecting the impact of a fly on your windscreen to significantly slow your car down at motorway speeds 😆

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2 hours ago, Zakalwe said:

Do a search on here for slow broadband access and gauge their comments. Especially those that now are working from home.

I'm a customer of this company https://www.lonsdalenet.co.uk/ for Broadband at our rural Cumbrian getaway. That kind of microwave relay network is now very common and afforadble. Not a satellite in sight. Maybe some people just want to sit at the end of 10 miles of twisted copper pairs complaining about internet speeds without looking for options. The same people won't be looking up for Starnet either.

I don't think Musk was/is motivated by the needs of rural UK communities particularly during Lock Down, nor indeed the Developing World. It is a corporate excercise that will find customers and will make SpaceX a bunch of dollars and massage Musks ego in his game of oneupmanship with Besos et al. People really are that rich these days!

I'm actually a huge fan of SpaceX, Falcon 9 and particularly the dual booster return of Falcon Heavy really relit my interest in spaceflight. Even the not-really-going-anywhere-yet Crew Dragon demo was a great moment for spaceflight. Starlink is an act of arrogance. If it only affected US skies then great, that's the FCC's business. This thing has global impact and should have required global agrement.

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1 hour ago, cuivenion said:

 it's more important to see the random piece of rock coming in the first place which Starlink in it's current form will make a lot more difficult.

 

48 minutes ago, Zakalwe said:

 important that a solution be found.

To see the random piece of rock coming does not require sight from Earth - Put all the astronomers on the other side of the moon. We have been wanting to be there for years already, where do I get my ticket ??

Oh hang on, fatal flaw = we will want an internet constellation round that as well  !

 

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Apologies in advance if this appears political.

The FCC; (i.e. Federal Communication Commission; a.k.a. 'Funny Candy Company'); is the US communications regulator of communications via TV, radio, internet, etc. It does the same as OFCOM here in GB/UK. Other countries have their own communications regulators.

Both FCC and OFCOM; (and those of other countries); issue and decline the licences to the operators.

Maybe 'we' should be lobbying the FCC. If the GB/UK is planning to start launching its own satellite network service; then perhaps 'we' should start lobbying OFCOM too.

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1 hour ago, Philip R said:

Apologies in advance if this appears political.

The FCC; (i.e. Federal Communication Commission; a.k.a. 'Funny Candy Company'); is the US communications regulator of communications via TV, radio, internet, etc. It does the same as OFCOM here in GB/UK. Other countries have their own communications regulators.

Both FCC and OFCOM; (and those of other countries); issue and decline the licences to the operators.

Maybe 'we' should be lobbying the FCC. If the GB/UK is planning to start launching its own satellite network service; then perhaps 'we' should start lobbying OFCOM too.

Too true. Would it be most appropriate to lobby for sensible low limits to the number of satellites allowed, rather than attempting to quash any satellites being launched (an unlikely eventuallity!)?

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3 hours ago, Philip R said:

Apologies in advance if this appears political.

The FCC; (i.e. Federal Communication Commission; a.k.a. 'Funny Candy Company'); is the US communications regulator of communications via TV, radio, internet, etc. It does the same as OFCOM here in GB/UK. Other countries have their own communications regulators.

Both FCC and OFCOM; (and those of other countries); issue and decline the licences to the operators.

Maybe 'we' should be lobbying the FCC. If the GB/UK is planning to start launching its own satellite network service; then perhaps 'we' should start lobbying OFCOM too.

AFAIK, OneWeb has already received permission from the ITU and authority from OFCOM to use the necessary frequencies, so you've missed that boat.

I wouldn't worry about it though, the chances of the UK actually completing on this, modifying the Sat's to carry military grade GPS kit, get the Sat's into an orbit way, way, way higher than they are designed for and for them to be able to broadcast to the ground is somewhere between none and infinitesimally small. It's another pile of taxpayers money gone up in smoke to salesmen smart enough to fool a government minister (a low bar, I know). It'll be like the millions wasted on an app that didn't work, the ferry company with no ferries and the millions paid to ferry companies that have ferries when the gov cancelled the contract.

No more on that though... straying close to political waters.

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19 minutes ago, Zakalwe said:

 straying close

Hehee, chancing a bit there, I'd say deep in it !

Historically safer if you had said TSR2, Blue Streak, and perhaps Brabazon. Though I dont personally remember the Brabazon, I did work in the Brabazon Hanger for a while.

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Zakalwe said:

Get in the queue...I'm still waiting for delivery of Eagle from 1999....

 

space-1999-eagle-1-andrea-gatti.jpg

😄

 

Marty McFly's hoverboard and of course the time travelling delorean were my childhood sci fi wishes.

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The benefits of Starlink are much bigger than the inconvenience to  click another checkbox in an astronomy software. We tend to forget that 50% of the population of Earth does not have internet connection and 50-60% of those who have it are stuck with a high price / low bandwidth connection. I live near Pisa in Italy, by no means a 3rd world country, and my internet connection is 4-5Mb/sec down with 0.5-1 Mb/sec up. All of this at almost 50Euro/month so I can't wait to pay Musk whatever he wants for a decent internet connection I cannot have from my regular provider. If the price I have to pay for that connection is that I have to take my exposures and then process them the same way I would process the inevitable plane trails I would have anyhow, I will gladly pay it. 

Also, the impact of Starlink on professional astronomy is going to be more of an inconvenience than a show stopper. Spacex is most probably going to provide the orbital info for the constellation and from there is just going to be a matter planning to avoid them.

On 27/06/2020 at 15:38, cuivenion said:

I would argue it's more important to see the random piece of rock coming in the first place which Starlink in it's current form will make a lot more difficult.

No, is not going to be in any way more difficult than it is today or it was 10 years ago. The LSST median exposure is going to be 15 seconds. They will just need to change the algorithm of the mount slew pattern to be sure that the satellites are not being in the frames. Nothing will be impacted from this.


 



 

Screen Shot 2020-06-29 at 16.08.59.png

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I'm sorry you have slow internet but I really don't see why faster internet can't be provided by more conventional means. I'm not going to pretend I'm clever enough to gauge the impacts on near earth asteroid observation, I'm going off studies such as the one from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

In addition the European Southern Observatory projects satellite mega-constellations may severely affect between 30 and 50 percent of observations taken by the Rubin Observatory.

I have not seen one news report of a professional astronomer saying this isn't going to be a problem for them.

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4 hours ago, mihaighita said:

We tend to forget that 50% of the population of Earth does not have internet connection

Nor a computer to connect or money for either and they'll be better off without their children being turned into dysfunctional social media adicts.

Slow internet is a 1st world problem and Musk's solution isn't really even about solving that problem. It's about corporate posturing and personal ego.

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Oh dear what a tangle !

Musk's solution is about widespread coverage, into parts not normally reached.
Not about posturing and ego (well maybe some ! but that isnt the commercial driver)
it isnt even about increasing speed/bandwidth in high density urban areas ( I dont know how urban " near Pisa " is), the proposals specifically state that there will not be sufficient capacity for conurbations.

The aim is universal coverage, wilderness and all.

As for "professional astronomers" in Southern Observatories, or anywhere else, there will always be grief between competing interest groups , its life Marvin.

Edited by Corncrake
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On 29/06/2020 at 20:47, Paul M said:

Nor a computer to connect or money for either and they'll be better off without their children being turned into dysfunctional social media adicts.

Slow internet is a 1st world problem and Musk's solution isn't really even about solving that problem. It's about corporate posturing and personal ego.

This answer saddens me... I was involved in World Science University project and I know for a fact that some of the brightest children in Africa have next to no internet access. There are children in this world that have no chance of getting a better job or escape their poor lives because they have no way of accessing resources. 
Also, slow internet is not 1st world caprice. It's a necessity when you have to work from home, upload a security camera stream in the cloud, or to make it closer to our hearts,  have an observatory that is not in your backyard that needs security cameras, remote access, data transfer, etc. 
You see, none of the above and countless other scenarios involve any social media or Netflix binge watching. 
 

On 29/06/2020 at 16:57, cuivenion said:

I have not seen one news report of a professional astronomer saying this isn't going to be a problem for them.

Nor will you ever see one. I'm just telling that this is going to be an annoyance that the science community will overcome. There will be some changes in the way we acquire data from the ground observatories, we will have to find solutions on the infrared (the only astronomy observation that will be affected in a real way), we will have to compromise a bit on the radio astronomy (not too much) but scientists are already working on solutions. 

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