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