Elon Musk is blocking Hubble’s views with the new Starlink satellites

Mar 7, 2023

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) is becoming increasingly unhappy with the number of satellites launched into space over the last few years. In particular, Elon Musk’s SpaceX projects are starting to block the celestial view of the legendary Hubble telescope. Recent imagery is marred by streaks or blotches caused by the satellites passing by.

Elon Musk is blocking Hubble’s views with the new Starlink satellites

According to the IAU, 6% of Hubble’s observations are ruined by these satellites, especially those owned by Musk’s Starlink. In 2021, there were 1,900 satellites by this agency alone. Now, there are easily 3,600 up there. With plenty of competition joining the fray, the IAU expects there to be close to 100,000 satellites orbiting Earth shortly.

Saturn has rings made of icy rocks and dust. Earth will soon have rings made of satellites. For the moment, the top Starlink competitors are Amazon and OneWeb, but the IAU knows there are plenty more who will want to join the party.

As such, it has launched a complaint to the United Nations, indicating the problems all these satellites are causing. The astronomer José María Diego who recently discovered Earendal made a serious joke about the situation. He said that they may have to send the Hubble telescope to the dark side of the Moon if they want to continue with clear celestial photography.

The reports indicate that damage to the imagery is mostly caused at dawn or dusk when sunlight glints off the satellites. Since Starlink has approval for launching all these satellites, it will be interesting to see if the UN takes any action.

Source of information: El Pais

Musk blocks Hubble’s view of the stars


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  1. Martin P. said on March 7, 2023 at 8:35 pm

    Musk’s Starlink satellites are the result of lack of international regulation on satellite launches and the positions where they are finally orbiting or end up being stationed. He’s managed to put his garbage hardware straight into Hubble’s view without ever asking permission to anyone before doing it. It was long predicted that his constellations of satellites would cause major problems for space telescopes and the problem will only worsen in time.

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