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The night sky is polluted by 'photobomber' moons - space and astronomy

The night sky is polluted by ‘photobomber’ moons – space and astronomy

astronomical explosion is More and more problem: The A large number of satellites In orbit, especially those in the larger constellations, such as those in Starlink and OneWeb for global internet connections, it is increasingly difficult to observe the sky without disturbances from the effects of many objects in orbit. A problem that is destined to get worse, which is why the International Astronomical Union (Iau) stricter rules Getting ready to put one online a map Which allows astronomers to see the motions of satellites in orbit in real time to help astronomers point telescopes at turbulence-free regions.

“For several years, especially in the last two years, there has been real problem Because of the large number of satellites in orbit they make difficult notes astronomical” hello piero, director of the IAU Center for the Protection of the Sky from Interference from IAU satellites. “A phenomenon that is destined to get worse, because the number of already programmed satellites is very high.”

While catching photos while taking a selfie can be fun, finding astronomical photos ruined by the passage of a series of intrusive satellites often forces you to throw away the results of long hours. Hardest hit are observers who study the entire sky, like the Zwicky Transient Facility Telescope we saw. Destroy more than 20% of notesMade at dusk on the paths of satellite traffic.

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me at least more than 5000 The satellites are currently in low Earth orbit and several have been launched in recent months to build the big constellations like Starlink (with more than 2,600 in orbit out of a projected 4,400, but could go as high as 40,000) or OneWeb (with 400 or at least 800 almost). The problem that has emerged in recent years and to which a solution must be found: “A reasonable compromise must be found – as Benvenuti said – between the technological and economic development needs of these new operators, and those that are to come, and the needs of the astronomical community.”

On the one hand, to mitigate, for example by raising awareness and imposing international standards on the brightness and number of satellites, on the other hand, we will have to try to adapt, for example with the new instrument that plans to launch the IAU soon to make it possible for astronomers from all over the world Know the location of satellites more accurately than before, and organize observations accordingly, without having to interrupt them due to intruders from space.

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