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(The New York Times)   Astronomers worried that supervillain Elon Musk will destroy astronomy with his 42,000 satellite array   (nytimes.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, Astronomy, Observational astronomy, Satellite, Dr. Lowenthal, first batch of Starlink orbiters, worries of many astronomers, Anthony Tyson, Planet  
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581 clicks; posted to Geek » on 11 Nov 2019 at 4:20 PM (14 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2019-11-11 03:38:32 PM  
Someday Earth could be struck by an object that won't be detected because of these.
 
2019-11-11 04:17:27 PM  
We're risking never being able to ha e anything in orbit thanks to a cloud of debris..
To have a system Designed to make rich bastards richer by shaving .003ms off their stock trading times. Srsly. fark this
 
2019-11-11 04:32:08 PM  
There's a LOT of space
We can deal with it.
 
2019-11-11 04:41:30 PM  
On average there are 10,000 aircraft in the skies.. How many do you actually notice, and that's at heights from 1000ft to 38,000ft or so.

Now, Starlinks sats are at 550km orbits.. Which is 1,804,461ft...

Yeah.. Space is big.. Alarmists are alarmists.
 
2019-11-11 04:42:26 PM  
Had global broadband, don't care ...
 
2019-11-11 04:44:55 PM  
Meh. Astronomers have been dealing with satellites for ages now. This guy is just one of those types that biatches endlessly about the world changing around them. I've seen plenty of loooooong exposure astronomy pictures and it doesn't seem to be a problem. In fact I'll bet they can easily be detected by software and removed from images. So the only complaint is that if you're looking at the sky with the naked eye you may see satellites.
 
2019-11-11 04:45:30 PM  

styckx: On average there are 10,000 aircraft in the skies.. How many do you actually notice, and that's at heights from 1000ft to 38,000ft or so.

Now, Starlinks sats are at 550km orbits.. Which is 1,804,461ft...

Yeah.. Space is big.. Alarmists are alarmists.


If the venture succeeds more will follow
 
2019-11-11 04:49:16 PM  
cdn.costumewall.comView Full Size
 
2019-11-11 04:53:05 PM  

lycanth: Someday Earth could be struck by an object that won't be detected because of these.


How's that? We could put up ten satellites for every person on Earth and you'd never notice.
 
2019-11-11 04:54:48 PM  
I just want to know if I will be able to see this tonight or tomorrow night:

gcs.thesouthafrican.comView Full Size


/From the last launch in May
//My usual sources have no info yet
///This only lasts a day or so because of orbital maneuvers
 
2019-11-11 04:55:06 PM  
All the more reason to build more space telescopes, and maybe a few on the back side of the Moon, too.
 
2019-11-11 04:58:29 PM  

styckx: On average there are 10,000 aircraft in the skies.. How many do you actually notice, and that's at heights from 1000ft to 38,000ft or so.

Now, Starlinks sats are at 550km orbits.. Which is 1,804,461ft...

Yeah.. Space is big.. Alarmists are alarmists.


The difference in altitude and speed could make a difference on the effective cross section they have in regions that telescopes observe.  Also, air traffic is not distributed evenly across the globe and large telescopes tend to be away from highly traveled corridors.  Lastly, a plane crossing your field of view may be obvious, and those frames/measurements easily discarded whereas artifacts from small satellites may interfere with the data in ways that are not obvious and could slip past sanitization into analysis.
 
2019-11-11 05:01:28 PM  

rogue49: There's a LOT of space
We can deal with it.


So, DNRTFA.
 
2019-11-11 05:02:01 PM  

Sarah Jessica Farker: All the more reason to build more space telescopes, and maybe a few on the back side of the Moon, too.


Definitely for IR and shorter wavelengths.  I'm curious how obtrusive these are for radio astronomy and whether their transmissions or footprint are more of a worry.
 
2019-11-11 05:09:21 PM  

Tom Marvolo Bombadil: styckx: On average there are 10,000 aircraft in the skies.. How many do you actually notice, and that's at heights from 1000ft to 38,000ft or so.

Now, Starlinks sats are at 550km orbits.. Which is 1,804,461ft...

Yeah.. Space is big.. Alarmists are alarmists.

The difference in altitude and speed could make a difference on the effective cross section they have in regions that telescopes observe.  Also, air traffic is not distributed evenly across the globe and large telescopes tend to be away from highly traveled corridors.  Lastly, a plane crossing your field of view may be obvious, and those frames/measurements easily discarded whereas artifacts from small satellites may interfere with the data in ways that are not obvious and could slip past sanitization into analysis.


Maybe if you ask nice Musk would slap a few telescopes on them. He'd probably think it was a cool idea. Adapt to change rather than decrying it. We're going to have to start thinking in much less traditional ways as the planet tries to murder us in the coming decades.
 
2019-11-11 05:21:43 PM  

Spectrum: I just want to know if I will be able to see this tonight or tomorrow night:

[gcs.thesouthafrican.com image 750x536]

/From the last launch in May
//My usual sources have no info yet
///This only lasts a day or so because of orbital maneuvers


Yes! Predicting a visible pass over SoCal tonight. It's a provisional placeholder, but here's hoping it's accurate. I'll be out there with binoculars.
 
2019-11-11 05:22:34 PM  
Forgot the link: Heavens Above
 
2019-11-11 05:32:06 PM  

lycanth: Someday Earth could be struck by an object that won't be detected because of these.


Already happens. This asteroid passed within 45,000 miles of earth, which is pretty damn close.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation​/​2019/07/26/it-snuck-up-us-city-killer-​asteroid-just-missed-earth-scientists-​almost-didnt-detect-it-time/

Honestly, does it really matter?  This ain't Harry Stamper and crew that we're going to strap onto a Wile E. Coyote rocket so they can land on, drill, plant a huge nuclear weapon inside, and then blow up a planet killing asteroid.
 
2019-11-11 05:46:06 PM  
Require them to have a little telescope built on the other side. Voila, 42000 space telescopes!
 
2019-11-11 06:20:53 PM  

styckx: On average there are 10,000 aircraft in the skies.. How many do you actually notice, and that's at heights from 1000ft to 38,000ft or so.

Now, Starlinks sats are at 550km orbits.. Which is 1,804,461ft...

Yeah.. Space is big.. Alarmists are alarmists.


If you actually RTFA, you'll find a discussion of the problems with this, including internal reflections in large telescopes, with the following assessment:  "Dr. Tyson's early simulations also confirm the potential problems, demonstrating that over the course of a full year, the giant telescope wouldn't be able to dodge these satellites 20 percent of the time. Instead, those images would be effectively ruined."

And that's just with the SpaceX constellation.  The article also notes that other companies, like Amazon, Telesat, and OneWeb, are looking into similar megaconstellations.
 
2019-11-11 06:29:03 PM  

Russ1642: Meh. Astronomers have been dealing with satellites for ages now.  This guy is just one of those types that biatches endlessly about the world changing around them.


SpaceX is talking about launching 8 times as many satellites as the total number that currently exist in space, and almost 5 times as many as have ever been launched.  RTFA for the problems with this.
 
2019-11-11 06:34:04 PM  

rogue49: There's a LOT of space
We can deal with it.


styckx: On average there are 10,000 aircraft in the skies.. How many do you actually notice, and that's at heights from 1000ft to 38,000ft or so.

Now, Starlinks sats are at 550km orbits.. Which is 1,804,461ft...

Yeah.. Space is big.. Alarmists are alarmists.


Oh good I seem we're taking our normal approach to migrating pollution and doing this:
Fark user imageView Full Size

/We as a species are spectacularly short-sighted apes
 
2019-11-11 06:39:45 PM  

Ambitwistor: Russ1642: Meh. Astronomers have been dealing with satellites for ages now.  This guy is just one of those types that biatches endlessly about the world changing around them.

SpaceX is talking about launching 8 times as many satellites as the total number that currently exist in space, and almost 5 times as many as have ever been launched.  RTFA for the problems with this.


It's an overreaction. It only sounds like it's a lot. It really isn't.  And remember that anything SpaceX 'talks about' is probably just Elon spewing his usual bullshiat.
 
2019-11-11 06:40:31 PM  
Levy a 0.001% transaction tax and high frequency trading goes away.
 
2019-11-11 06:44:43 PM  
NIMBYism has made it to outer space...
 
2019-11-11 06:46:03 PM  

Russ1642: It's an overreaction. It only sounds like it's a lot. It really isn't.


According to what metric?  What calculation did you perform?  Because according to the chief scientist for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, which has dedicated software for calculating the effects of satellites on observing campaigns, it's going to really fark them up.

And remember that anything SpaceX 'talks about' is probably just Elon spewing his usual bullshiat.

As I already noted above, SpaceX isn't the only company talking about launching megaconstellations.
 
2019-11-11 06:46:11 PM  

lycanth: Someday Earth could be struck by an object that won't be detected because of these.


Get real.
 
2019-11-11 06:49:42 PM  
SpaceX engineering is approaching art.

static01.nyt.comView Full Size
 
2019-11-11 06:53:09 PM  

Ambitwistor: Russ1642: It's an overreaction. It only sounds like it's a lot. It really isn't.

According to what metric?  What calculation did you perform?  Because according to the chief scientist for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, which has dedicated software for calculating the effects of satellites on observing campaigns, it's going to really fark them up.

And remember that anything SpaceX 'talks about' is probably just Elon spewing his usual bullshiat.

As I already noted above, SpaceX isn't the only company talking about launching megaconstellations.


Well, my prediction is this. It'll happen. Some company will launch a low altitude constellation of thousands of small satellites. And about a week later the astronomers will have figured out how to deal with it. They will figure out how to remove a dot or streak of known origin from a picture. It won't be the end of astronomy on Earth.
 
2019-11-11 06:56:40 PM  

Russ1642: Ambitwistor: Russ1642: It's an overreaction. It only sounds like it's a lot. It really isn't.

According to what metric?  What calculation did you perform?  Because according to the chief scientist for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, which has dedicated software for calculating the effects of satellites on observing campaigns, it's going to really fark them up.

And remember that anything SpaceX 'talks about' is probably just Elon spewing his usual bullshiat.

As I already noted above, SpaceX isn't the only company talking about launching megaconstellations.

Well, my prediction is this. It'll happen. Some company will launch a low altitude constellation of thousands of small satellites. And about a week later the astronomers will have figured out how to deal with it. They will figure out how to remove a dot or streak of known origin from a picture. It won't be the end of astronomy on Earth.


Ah, yes. The classic technology will save us.
 
2019-11-11 06:59:48 PM  

Russ1642: Ambitwistor: Russ1642: It's an overreaction. It only sounds like it's a lot. It really isn't.

According to what metric?  What calculation did you perform?  Because according to the chief scientist for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, which has dedicated software for calculating the effects of satellites on observing campaigns, it's going to really fark them up.

And remember that anything SpaceX 'talks about' is probably just Elon spewing his usual bullshiat.

As I already noted above, SpaceX isn't the only company talking about launching megaconstellations.

Well, my prediction is this. It'll happen. Some company will launch a low altitude constellation of thousands of small satellites. And about a week later the astronomers will have figured out how to deal with it. They will figure out how to remove a dot or streak of known origin from a picture. It won't be the end of astronomy on Earth.


They already have ways to compensate and remove image contamination.  That's what the software I mentioned is for.  And it predicts it will get totally overwhelmed with 40000 satellites, because you can't remove everything, and, as I said, because the whole field of view can get contaminated by internal reflections, not just the pixels where the satellite is at.
 
2019-11-11 07:02:39 PM  

Ambitwistor: Russ1642: Ambitwistor: Russ1642: It's an overreaction. It only sounds like it's a lot. It really isn't.

According to what metric?  What calculation did you perform?  Because according to the chief scientist for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, which has dedicated software for calculating the effects of satellites on observing campaigns, it's going to really fark them up.

And remember that anything SpaceX 'talks about' is probably just Elon spewing his usual bullshiat.

As I already noted above, SpaceX isn't the only company talking about launching megaconstellations.

Well, my prediction is this. It'll happen. Some company will launch a low altitude constellation of thousands of small satellites. And about a week later the astronomers will have figured out how to deal with it. They will figure out how to remove a dot or streak of known origin from a picture. It won't be the end of astronomy on Earth.

They already have ways to compensate and remove image contamination.  That's what the software I mentioned is for.  And it predicts it will get totally overwhelmed with 40000 satellites, because you can't remove everything, and, as I said, because the whole field of view can get contaminated by internal reflections, not just the pixels where the satellite is at.


So they'll have to update the software.
 
2019-11-11 07:04:43 PM  

Russ1642: So they'll have to update the software.


Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2019-11-11 07:08:29 PM  

Russ1642: Ambitwistor: Russ1642: Ambitwistor: Russ1642: It's an overreaction. It only sounds like it's a lot. It really isn't.

According to what metric?  What calculation did you perform?  Because according to the chief scientist for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, which has dedicated software for calculating the effects of satellites on observing campaigns, it's going to really fark them up.

And remember that anything SpaceX 'talks about' is probably just Elon spewing his usual bullshiat.

As I already noted above, SpaceX isn't the only company talking about launching megaconstellations.

Well, my prediction is this. It'll happen. Some company will launch a low altitude constellation of thousands of small satellites. And about a week later the astronomers will have figured out how to deal with it. They will figure out how to remove a dot or streak of known origin from a picture. It won't be the end of astronomy on Earth.

They already have ways to compensate and remove image contamination.  That's what the software I mentioned is for.  And it predicts it will get totally overwhelmed with 40000 satellites, because you can't remove everything, and, as I said, because the whole field of view can get contaminated by internal reflections, not just the pixels where the satellite is at.

So they'll have to update the software.


You haven't substantiated your comments with anything.  They're just faith in magical thinking.  It's just as dumb as claiming that "updating software" can make telescopes 10x better.  There are physical limitations in any telescope's capabilities that can't be waved away with a vague reference to "better software".
 
2019-11-11 07:08:49 PM  

ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha: Russ1642: So they'll have to update the software.

[Fark user image 640x480]


Astronomers don't own space. This is like asshole tourists trying to take a picture across a busy sidewalk thinking everyone is just going to go into the street to stay out of their shots. Astronomers are the ones that are going to have to adapt. I believe they'll be successful.
 
2019-11-11 07:11:47 PM  

Russ1642: ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha: Russ1642: So they'll have to update the software.

[Fark user image 640x480]

Astronomers don't own space. This is like asshole tourists trying to take a picture across a busy sidewalk thinking everyone is just going to go into the street to stay out of their shots. Astronomers are the ones that are going to have to adapt. I believe they'll be successful.


SpaceX doesn't own space either, and the public has a say.
 
2019-11-11 07:12:52 PM  

Russ1642: ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha: Russ1642: So they'll have to update the software.

[Fark user image 640x480]

Astronomers don't own space. This is like asshole tourists trying to take a picture across a busy sidewalk thinking everyone is just going to go into the street to stay out of their shots. Astronomers are the ones that are going to have to adapt. I believe they'll be successful.


You have no clue what what you're talking about, but you're sure that magic can fix it.
 
2019-11-11 07:14:19 PM  

ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha: Russ1642: ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha: Russ1642: So they'll have to update the software.

[Fark user image 640x480]

Astronomers don't own space. This is like asshole tourists trying to take a picture across a busy sidewalk thinking everyone is just going to go into the street to stay out of their shots. Astronomers are the ones that are going to have to adapt. I believe they'll be successful.

You have no clue what what you're talking about, but you're sure that magic can fix it.


Part of my point is that they don't have a choice.
 
2019-11-11 07:15:03 PM  

Ambitwistor: Russ1642: ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha: Russ1642: So they'll have to update the software.

[Fark user image 640x480]

Astronomers don't own space. This is like asshole tourists trying to take a picture across a busy sidewalk thinking everyone is just going to go into the street to stay out of their shots. Astronomers are the ones that are going to have to adapt. I believe they'll be successful.

SpaceX doesn't own space either, and the public has a say.


And they'll choose communications over Astronomy in a heartbeat.
 
2019-11-11 07:16:38 PM  

Russ1642: ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha: Russ1642: ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha: Russ1642: So they'll have to update the software.

[Fark user image 640x480]

Astronomers don't own space. This is like asshole tourists trying to take a picture across a busy sidewalk thinking everyone is just going to go into the street to stay out of their shots. Astronomers are the ones that are going to have to adapt. I believe they'll be successful.

You have no clue what what you're talking about, but you're sure that magic can fix it.

Part of my point is that they don't have a choice.


Really? Because it seems like your point is "Leave Elon alone!"
 
2019-11-11 07:20:44 PM  

ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha: Russ1642: ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha: Russ1642: ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha: Russ1642: So they'll have to update the software.

[Fark user image 640x480]

Astronomers don't own space. This is like asshole tourists trying to take a picture across a busy sidewalk thinking everyone is just going to go into the street to stay out of their shots. Astronomers are the ones that are going to have to adapt. I believe they'll be successful.

You have no clue what what you're talking about, but you're sure that magic can fix it.

Part of my point is that they don't have a choice.

Really? Because it seems like your point is "Leave Elon alone!"


Well everyone else's point seems to be that they're somehow going to impose their will on dozens of countries intent on launching satellites over the next few decades. The satellite count is going to go up a lot, but I don't think ground based astronomers are just going to pack up and go home.
 
2019-11-11 07:38:44 PM  

Spectrum: I just want to know if I will be able to see this tonight or tomorrow night:

[gcs.thesouthafrican.com image 750x536]

/From the last launch in May
//My usual sources have no info yet
///This only lasts a day or so because of orbital maneuvers


I saw the one in May with Binoculars. I do hope that they do something to cut down on the reflectivity of the satellites.
 
2019-11-11 07:45:32 PM  

KarmicDisaster: Spectrum: I just want to know if I will be able to see this tonight or tomorrow night:

[gcs.thesouthafrican.com image 750x536]

/From the last launch in May
//My usual sources have no info yet
///This only lasts a day or so because of orbital maneuvers

I saw the one in May with Binoculars. I do hope that they do something to cut down on the reflectivity of the satellites.


I went out in May on night two and saw nothing. Once they raise their orbit they're practically invisible. I'm hoping tonight to see them. Just over an hour. Fingered crossed.
 
2019-11-11 07:45:37 PM  

Ambitwistor: SpaceX doesn't own space either, and the public has a say.


Yeah and the people we hired to work it out (the FCC) determined that it is fine.
 
2019-11-11 07:47:40 PM  
Think it is bad now?  Just wait until the space gateway explodes and takes out part of the moon.

billrosethorn.files.wordpress.comView Full Size
 
2019-11-11 07:51:33 PM  
ITT: People who live under Bortle Class 5+ skies weeping about how Elon Musk is going to ruin the sky forever.
 
2019-11-11 07:51:35 PM  

wingnut396: Think it is bad now?  Just wait until the space gateway explodes and takes out part of the moon.

[billrosethorn.files.wordpress.com image 350x262]


vignette.wikia.nocookie.netView Full Size
 
2019-11-11 08:09:32 PM  
Hey, Elon. Slap an outer facing scope on each one and give free access to astronomers. LEO-based wide array the size of the planet.
 
2019-11-11 08:11:51 PM  
Private companies launch a brazilian satalites and oh no! What's that. Our new "Mars probe" exploded! Oh no! The debris is in the bothersome satalites' orbits! Oh, it's sticking to them! It's burning like little jet engines how unexpected!  Oh no, all the amazon satalites are gone and our main thruster fell on Bezos' favorite house!
 
2019-11-11 08:28:50 PM  

lycanth: Someday Earth could be struck by an object that won't be detected because of these.


Not like we can do anything about it.
 
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