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NYT article on satellites for high speed internet

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#1 BoldAxis1967

BoldAxis1967

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 03:48 PM

Another article discussing the effects of thousands of satellites on astronomy and the night sky environment published today in the NYT.

 

Below are a few excerpts:

 

Amazon Satellites Add to Astronomers’ Worries About the Night Sky

The F.C.C. approved the company’s 3,236-satellite constellation, which aims to provide high-speed internet service around the world.

 

…Since the first group of Starlink satellites launched in May 2019, many skywatchers have lamented their bright reflected glare. ... “Most ground-based observatories actually start in twilight,” said Julien H. Girard, a support scientist at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore. “We start taking data even when the sky is not completely dark, especially in the near-infrared and infrared wavelengths.” …The satellites may create the most problems for wide-field observatories...

 

“Of course, the night sky is not only a resource for professional astronomers. Across generations and cultures, people have gazed up after sunset to seek solace, enchantment and perspective from the stars. Broadening internet access around the world has an obvious public benefit, but so does the preservation of clear skies and bright stars.

 

“We’re talking about changing something that is shared across the entire planet,” Dr. Bannister said.
“This is environmental impact,” she added. “This is something we know how to discuss and regulate in all the other spheres of corporate activity. Why should this be any different?”

 

This is very distressing. Amazon stated they are open to discussing ways to minimize the light pollution from their satellites. But I fear that as we are rapidly destroying the earth's land, ocean, air and fresh water ecosystem, our night sky is also on the hit list and nothing can stop the march of civilization.  To quote a line from Fireside Theater when metaphorically describing the advance of wagon trains (western civilization) across the West: "Civilization Ho".

 

L.


Edited by BoldAxis1967, 10 August 2020 - 03:48 PM.

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