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Open Roads Forum  >  Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping

 > "Satellight Pollution" of the Night Sky by SpaceX

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profdant139

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Posted: 05/30/19 12:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Those of us who boondock in search of dark skies will be dismayed to hear that the new satellite internet system will scatter a lot more junk across the field of view. (I am claiming the coinage of the term "satellight pollution.") Here is an article:

Article

On the other hand, all of those spacecraft should provide us with great internet coverage as we sit in remote locations, grumbling about all of those spacecraft.


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HadEnough

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Posted: 05/30/19 02:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Not a fan.

One astronomer mentioned that if they put all 12,000 satellites up that they plan to use, there will be more satellites than there are stars right now visible to the naked eye.

timmac

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Posted: 05/30/19 05:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

HadEnough wrote:

Not a fan.

One astronomer mentioned that if they put all 12,000 satellites up that they plan to use, there will be more satellites than there are stars right now visible to the naked eye.


But the good side is fast strong internet world wide..

[emoticon]

SidecarFlip

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Posted: 05/30/19 07:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Maybe Putin will get pizzed and shoot them down....


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MNGeeks61

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Posted: 05/31/19 07:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It's odd for me. I haven't used my telescope in months. But sitting outside back in March on the warm night (40's) around a campfire, we did see more than a few satellites and the ISS.

When looking at semi-deep sky objects, it's been semi rare for me to catch a satellite. And I don't do much astrophotography so it's even more rare. but I sure would hate to be outside at night and wonder if that was a plane, a satellite, or an asteroid very close to the earth...

CFerguson

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Posted: 05/31/19 03:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Unpolluted air, normal human vision, good dark observing site = about 2000 stars visible. Just a number I rem from astronomy class.


https://phys.org/news/2019-05-spacex-starlink-satellites-harder.html

profdant139

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Posted: 06/01/19 03:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Maybe it won't be as bad as we feared. The orbits are getting steadily higher, dimming the light pollution. This is an update from another article:

"The satellites' visibility in the sky — a source of consternation for some astronomers, both professional and amateur — will decrease considerably as they rise, SpaceX representatives said. The satellites' solar arrays will also move behind the craft as they point their antennas toward Earth, contributing to this fadeout, SpaceX representatives added."

avoidcrowds

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Posted: 06/07/19 09:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hmmm. When I am boondocking, I seem to see way more than 2,000 stars in the sky. Maybe 2,000 when viewing the sky in a city.

I am not too concerned about it. Even if there are 12,000 birds put up there by SpaceX, it is going to take much longer than I will be around to get them all up there. If they can launch 10 at a time, and do a launch each month, that will be 100 years to put them all up. If they can launch more each time, then they will be pretty small, and may not be visible to the naked eye.

I like trying to spot satellites when I am stargazing.

If someone is looking through binoculars or a telescope, the chances of a SpaceX satellite entering your field of view will be, in my opinion, very slim.

Yes, there is legitimate concern of additional hazards flying around, and I will grant that is valid. But, as for seeing a swarm of them in the small portion of sky we can see while stargazing, I think that is being overblown.


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profdant139

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Posted: 06/07/19 10:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

avoid, you'd be amazed at how many of my time exposures of the night sky have been ruined by satellight pollution. (I want credit for that phrase if it catches on!!) So as the sats increase in number, there will be more ruined photos. The sats show up like a long line in a 30 second exposure.

No big deal for me -- I am just an amateur. It might be a problem for the pros, though.

pnichols

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Posted: 06/08/19 01:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

profdant139 wrote:

avoid, you'd be amazed at how many of my time exposures of the night sky have been ruined by satellight pollution. (I want credit for that phrase if it catches on!!) So as the sats increase in number, there will be more ruined photos. The sats show up like a long line in a 30 second exposure.

No big deal for me -- I am just an amateur. It might be a problem for the pros, though.


Dan ... an interesting discussion thread!

I have a couple of comments, the first one being a serious one:

1. What kind of camera and lens combination would it take to be able to view/capture the night sky like the human eye/brain combination can do it? i.e. Instantaneously - with long time exposures to capture light from images not required? Is image capture technology capable yet of duplicating the human eye in this respect? [emoticon]

2. A lot of satellites up there just might help with Global Warming ... doesn't each one keep a bit ot the sun's energy from reaching the earth? [emoticon]


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