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Astronomers gather to stop Starlink

Astronomers gather to stop Starlink

This time it’s official. This is the official request made by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) to the United Nations Committee for the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space –COPUOS – to protect the darkness of the sky from the excessive brightness of the constellation Starlink.

The coexistence of astronomy and satellites, It actually made it difficult to observe the sky from Earth, forcing the international community of astronomers to file requests to intervene in Space X, the company that owns the crowded Starlink constellation, to reduce the extra brightness.

despite of No space x Welcomed the equipping of some of the 1,320 Starlink satellites with a “VisorSat” umbrella, the International Astronomical Union considered the intervention insufficient.

The video was shot by amateur archaeologist and astronomer Marco Langbroek 24 hours after launch with his telescope.

“These trains are beautiful and impressive, but do we really want to see them in the Australian outback? In Antarctica? Or in the dark areas of Chile? Probably not?” Thomas Schildknecht, Deputy Director of the Astronomical Institute at the University of Bern, Switzerland, who represents Switzerland in the International Astronomical Union, commented during the press conference organized by the European Space Agency (ESA), on the occasion of the Eighth European Conference on Space Debris. In Darmstadt, Germany, from April 20 to 23.

Since 2019, the international community of astronomers has complained about the disastrous impact of “satellite trains” on their observations. SpaceX currently has approval to launch 12,000 satellites but plans to launch up to 30,000.

But it is not just X space that causes anxiety among the astronomical community. There are also other operators like Amazon and OneWeb chasing Space X and the biggest concern is the speed of perception and launching into the orbit in which private companies try to hunt Space X.

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The reason for the alarm also comes from the European Space Agency Due to congestion of satellites in low orbit. Operators at the European Space Operations Center in Darmstadt, Germany, are required to conduct corrective maneuvers, with an average of two interventions every two weeks on ESA’s fleet of 20 spacecraft controlled by the center, said Holger Krag, program leader. Space Security for the European Space Agency, During the press conference.

Even space debris experts have repeatedly alerted the space community to the degradation of a highly chaotic orbital environment.

The request to COPUOS, which provides for regulations limiting satellite brightness for massive towers, is only a first step in a complex problem that will not be easy to solve.

Race that supports The New Space Economy It would have to take into account the impact of the commercialization of space activities. It will be necessary to take into account the different positions, viewpoints, and economic interests on the one hand, and the progress made thanks to the work of the new actors. The space race, which began sixty years ago, will have to rethink the rules for peaceful coexistence and greater protection of the occupied environment.