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STOP ELON MUSK

LP Visual Astrophotography
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#51 bobzeq25

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Posted 19 May 2022 - 12:43 PM

So I think at least in part @ion and @bobzeq25 missed what I was focusing on... 

 

Light pollution is awful, it is going to ruin this hobby.  It is driven by, I think quite literally, urbanites and suburbanites fear of the dark, so they push local authorities to bring daylight into the night, so while out walking fluffy they feel safe.  Emphasis on "feel". 

 

There are also more legitimate (i.e. necessary) intrusion like sporting stadiums, where lights really are needed, but that move further out of city centers and spread the problem around.

 

But... the majority of the angst and complaining appears aimed at satellite trails and billionaires.  Setting aside whether complaints there are more aimed at the billionaires than the trails -- that is the part I do not understand.  The people wanting to boycott Musk (or whatever) don't show up at HOA meetings and town councils and demand a reduction in street lights?  They don't even complain about street lights. I'd wager heavily some of them ASK for more street lights so they can walk Fluffy more easily at night.

 

I just think this topic, and all this angst, is mis-directed.  Go after up-pointing lights, go after lights on streets with no pedestrian traffic, go after excessive lights.  I wish I could say go after LED's (and broad spectrum) but honestly that's good public policy for cost reasons, but maybe they could be better designed. 

 

But why are star trails everyone's big focus.

 

As to star trails screwing up visual -- I do not do visual, but I hang around people that do, and frankly I've heard FAR more people excited by catching a satellite in view than any indication their view through a telescope was ruined by it.  I've been on (mostly visual) club calls where people shared information about recently launched groups that were still moving as a group, when to observe them. I have yet to hear a visual observer say "I was looking at M57 and this darn satellite came across and ruined my night". 

 

Now... "I was looking at M57 and my neighbor's flood lights came on and blinded me" is a more common refrain.

So... why are Satellites such an issue for people?  And not streetlights?   Neighbor lights. 

And you missed _my_ point.

 

People are bothered by all sorts of things with light pollution.

 

This guy, and this project, are a convenient target to take their frustration out on.  One that seems to many to be more offensive (a launch is a spectacular event), that "should" be easy to fix.  Just stop him.

 

You expect human behavior to be logical?  I suggest some study of the brain, and how it works.  Three good places to start.

 

https://www.amazon.c...n/dp/0374533555

 

https://www.amazon.c...n/dp/0307389928

 

https://www.amazon.c...n/dp/0316451401


Edited by bobzeq25, 19 May 2022 - 12:47 PM.

 

#52 xiando

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Posted 19 May 2022 - 06:03 PM

 

 

The view you care about is artifical and can be fixed in post, the view
we care about is real-time and being deliberately ruined forever...

Speaking solely for me, it's not "the view I care about", it's the view I have to live with. I'd prefer skies like when I was a little kid to be perfectly honest (even if they got a bit yellowish from the steel mills west of here occasionally). Or, although I never experienced them, the skies my parents saw as teens, I'd like as safe a neighborhood as we had back then too. And far fewer cars on the road. And... well I won't get started. Point is, it's 55 years later for me since I was a little kid, and the country has almost twice as many people now, technology took one giant leap upwards, the world went from a dark at night, tv goes dead at 2, blue law setup, to a very well lit, 24/7/365 party under the advise of those who came to power in the 1980s, (and which spread to all aspects....we sure didn't used to light up the skyscrapers every night for tv optics!)  and we have to deal with the world as it is.

 

I sympathize with observers. I live in an inner ring suburb, and the sky noise and ground light around here is atrocious (technically Bortle 8-9, maybe mitigated a bit by the forest). But that hip couple over there (100 ft away) isn't going to turn off their dangling strings party lights on their deck 15 ft above my plane, nor is the dude over there with his kewl spotlights shining 30-40 ft along their trunks up into under-canopy of his big trees like it like looks soooo kewl (50 ft away), nor is the couple over there with their dual 150W "convenience" floods on the garage (40 ft away), nor is the city parking garage and their tens of kilowatts of lights (~150 ft away), or the commercial strip's variety of lights, or the auto dealers a few blocks away... or the safeway down at the end of your county road or by the highway, or the local highschool or civic sportsfield over yonder, and so on. 

 

BTW, Figuratively speaking, you and your wife just had dinner and parked at that well lit garage last night, maybe even every Wednesday night. Strolled down the bright, colorfully lit and bannered commercial avenue, looking into the trendy shops and watching other well dressed visitors like yourself, before sitting down to a great meal and some drinks, maybe a band...And then drove back to your nice, quiet, dark outer ring suburb or rural location. Thanks btw, for sharing the low end on your cool music while parking, while idling, while driving away from the bar at 2 am... Those sure are some awesome subwoofers. right through my foundation a football field away. wink.gif

 

Hopefully it's obvious that  I'm not really accusing you. (If not, now you know) For all I know, you're as much the homebody as I am. But I guarantee that those parking lots aren't being filled up by locals. They were built for you (figuratively speaking).

 

Satellites aren't going away any time soon. Nor is ground light. Best bet is for individuals to compensate in whichever way is best for each within the limits of their local surroundings and within the limits of their own resources. I guess timing and target selection for the first, biting as that may be (I suppose one could think if it like the neighbor having a tract of trees "in your way" in one or more directions... personally, I have less than a single quadrant at my disposal, due to the forest around me, and most of it is someone else's) , And for the latter, even observers would benefit from a wraparound light shield, aka the poor man's "field" observatory. IME, I couldn't image without one. 

 

"Musk" (ie what he produced but which would have been produced anyway) is a symptom of your own desires and the path you set us all on decades ago. Musk is just a name. It could have been any number of others. Or it could have been a faceless corporate name. Or a national government. Correct me if I'm muddling current events, but isn't Russia working on one of their own, and China as well? 

 

Be thankful for your Bortle 2 skies friend. That's an enviable position for anyone who enjoys the night sky, be they observer or imager or simply a star gazer. 

 

ps. sorry for the possibly preachy tone. I'm just rambling with thoughts.


Edited by xiando, 19 May 2022 - 06:11 PM.

 

#53 Alex Swartzinski

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Posted 19 May 2022 - 08:57 PM

My take:

 

I understand the frustration of dealing with more artificial satellites in earth orbit. They ruin exposures for pros and amateurs and leave many concerned about space junk.

 

As a visual guy, I could personally care less for my own personal observing. Any increased sky brightness is tiny compared to sky glow from the ground. Once in their final orbits, Starlink is not visible to the naked eye making their impact truly negligible to anyone looking up from a pristine bortle 1 zone. I'm much more concerned about light pollution growing faster than the population and the possibility that remaining dark sites will be developed. Thankfully, the IDA and National Park Service is working to prevent this issue and they are doing a fantastic job of raising awareness and action.

 

As for the negative image of these things becoming space junk,

 

You have to realize that Starlink flies only a few hundred Kms up and atmospheric drag will pull them down within a few years without boosting.

 

There is lots of doom and gloom on this page and I feel much of it is misplaced. Elon Musk is a controversial figure for better or worse, and people love to place blame on a visible individual. There will be other internet satellite constellations in the future regardless of Musk. Also, Musk's satellites are probably the least impactful of these planned constellations due to the low altitude and anti-reflective coatings.

 

Light pollution either ground or sky based, is what it is. We must make the best of it. Even suburban viewing under sky glow can be a blast if you pick the right targets. Trips to darker skies are rewarding to me in more ways than just astronomy. I enjoy nature. As I previously stated, organizations are working to preserve and even expand these dark zones. Let's all try to stay positive and enjoy every night under the sky. 

 

For me, astronomy is a method to stay curious and humble. I will continue to do this regardless of satellites and sky glow. 


Edited by Alex Swartzinski, 19 May 2022 - 09:33 PM.

 

#54 zernikepolynomial

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Posted 20 May 2022 - 05:08 AM

It would seem small minded and selfish to consider personal astronomy more important than impoverished people in 3rd world countries (as well as rural people in developed countries), when some of them cant even dream of affording a telescope, let alone being able to order a telescope online. 

 

I'd say the same for light pollution. Unnecessary light pollution is not good, but the lights that keep people safe in high crime areas or pedestrian crosswalks is obviously more important than whether or not I can stay out all night long and look at the sky. Yeah, astronomy is fun and wholesome, but its just not something we have to put the world on hold over. 


Edited by Napp, 20 May 2022 - 10:40 AM.

 

#55 Alex Swartzinski

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Posted 20 May 2022 - 12:43 PM

It would seem small minded and selfish to consider personal astronomy more important than impoverished people in 3rd world countries (as well as rural people in developed countries), when some of them cant even dream of affording a telescope, let alone being able to order a telescope online. 

 

I'd say the same for light pollution. Unnecessary light pollution is not good, but the lights that keep people safe in high crime areas or pedestrian crosswalks is obviously more important than whether or not I can stay out all night long and look at the sky. Yeah, astronomy is fun and wholesome, but its just not something we have to put the world on hold over. 

I don't really get your stance here.

 

You won't find many amateur astronomers who don't recognize how niche our hobby is. Most (if not all) of us recognize the importance of lighting for safety at night. As you say, unnecessary light is the problem. Unnecessary light does not keep people safe because it is not needed. If it was needed, it wouldn't be light pollution. Much of our necessary light is also installed incorrectly with bright fixtures that create lots of glare which can be very dangerous and wasteful. We need light in urban areas at night, but we as a species can do much better at utilizing light in an efficient manner. That's all most of us want is more efficient lighting where it is needed.

 

As for personal astronomy being more important than impoverished people, who said that? You could use that position on literally any issue as a reason not to do anything about it. Preventing unnecessary light pollution will save energy which saves money. This can help low income communities and developing nations who don't have a large reliable grid. It also protects ecosystems. The main reason I want to tackle this issue is because I view light pollution as a negative symptom of our times. We as humans waste tremendous resources such as plastic and energy as we disconnect ourselves from the natural environment. Light pollution is a relatively affordable and easy issue to tackle in addition to the many other issues we must address.

 

Don't put the world on hold over astronomy, but also recognize the benefits of reducing energy consumption and preserving ecosystems...


Edited by Alex Swartzinski, 20 May 2022 - 12:46 PM.

 

#56 zernikepolynomial

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Posted 20 May 2022 - 04:19 PM

I don't really get your stance here.

 

You won't find many amateur astronomers who don't recognize how niche our hobby is. Most (if not all) of us recognize the importance of lighting for safety at night. As you say, unnecessary light is the problem. Unnecessary light does not keep people safe because it is not needed. If it was needed, it wouldn't be light pollution. Much of our necessary light is also installed incorrectly with bright fixtures that create lots of glare which can be very dangerous and wasteful. We need light in urban areas at night, but we as a species can do much better at utilizing light in an efficient manner. That's all most of us want is more efficient lighting where it is needed.

 

As for personal astronomy being more important than impoverished people, who said that? You could use that position on literally any issue as a reason not to do anything about it. Preventing unnecessary light pollution will save energy which saves money. This can help low income communities and developing nations who don't have a large reliable grid. It also protects ecosystems. The main reason I want to tackle this issue is because I view light pollution as a negative symptom of our times. We as humans waste tremendous resources such as plastic and energy as we disconnect ourselves from the natural environment. Light pollution is a relatively affordable and easy issue to tackle in addition to the many other issues we must address.

 

Don't put the world on hold over astronomy, but also recognize the benefits of reducing energy consumption and preserving ecosystems...

"reason not to do anything about it."

I don't need a reason not to do something, the burden of proof is on the people claiming that we have to do something about it.

 

Just as its easy to point out the problem when it comes to pollution, the solution is often much less defined and many who propose one are unable to provide proof for their solution. Many people claim they know the solution for ecological problems, but the solution lacks scientific support because it relies on the behavior of human beings, which is unpredictable and often political. For example, if we know X is happening, that does not necessarily mean we know how to make X not happen, or if X should or should not happen. In this case, I think one could make a moral argument for starlink being allowed to exist despite it being a contributor to objects blocking the view of telescopes. And in addition, there is no proof that removing starlink could change the outcome in the long term.

 

The only thing one could prove is that starlink does contribute.


 

#57 Alex Swartzinski

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Posted 20 May 2022 - 09:59 PM

"reason not to do anything about it."

I don't need a reason not to do something, the burden of proof is on the people claiming that we have to do something about it.

 

Just as its easy to point out the problem when it comes to pollution, the solution is often much less defined and many who propose one are unable to provide proof for their solution. Many people claim they know the solution for ecological problems, but the solution lacks scientific support because it relies on the behavior of human beings, which is unpredictable and often political. For example, if we know X is happening, that does not necessarily mean we know how to make X not happen, or if X should or should not happen. In this case, I think one could make a moral argument for starlink being allowed to exist despite it being a contributor to objects blocking the view of telescopes. And in addition, there is no proof that removing starlink could change the outcome in the long term.

 

The only thing one could prove is that starlink does contribute.

I was referring to your ground based light pollution opinions in my previous post not necessary starlink. I generally agree with you that starlink could have a very real moral argument behind it.

 

I also agree that implementing solutions is not easy, but lowering the wattage of city maintained lighting and passing ordinances on new fixtures is much easier to control than say, reducing CO2 from transportation or agriculture. Is it simple? No, but these solutions are cheaper and simpler than many other issues. Look at all the small victories many CNers have made in their communities on the light pollution forums.

 

As for the burden of proof to do something about light pollution in general, my point was that using other issues such as poverty as a detraction from the validity of a different problem doesn't tend to get us far in discussions. It's kind of the "whataboutism" that we often see today. "Well you want to do something about this issue, but what about this entirely separate problem". Sure poverty is far more pressing, but why can't we also be concerned about other issues? We don't need a burden of proof to say that light pollution is worse than poverty. We can simply work on both issues at the same time since light pollution is a far easier problem to solve and takes up little resources. 

 

I generally agree with you and I'm enjoying this friendly little back and forth, but my main point is that your right and I'm right. Why can't we have both? It seems like a reasonable stance to say light pollution is bad and let's do something about it on the LP forum smile.gif.


Edited by Alex Swartzinski, 20 May 2022 - 10:18 PM.

 

#58 csrlice12

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Posted 20 May 2022 - 10:33 PM

Oddly enough, impoverished areas are also usually dark......


 

#59 zernikepolynomial

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Posted 21 May 2022 - 12:32 AM

Oddly enough, impoverished areas are also usually dark......

 

Yep. They have the privilege of being closer to nature, but it comes at cost relative to the privilege of technology. Say goodbye to medical care, internet, and modern comforts. Everybody wants to live on a tropical island in a hut until they break their leg and starve. 


 

#60 Alex Swartzinski

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Posted 21 May 2022 - 09:42 AM

Oddly enough, impoverished areas are also usually dark......

Very true. I was mainly talking about the issue of light pollution in developed nations since that's where the problem is. 

 

Yep. They have the privilege of being closer to nature, but it comes at cost relative to the privilege of technology. Say goodbye to medical care, internet, and modern comforts. Everybody wants to live on a tropical island in a hut until they break their leg and starve. 

Absolutely. We are very privileged to see light pollution as a problem. I don't think this private prevents us from preserving our sky in rural parts of North America though. I'm not asking people to give up electricity, but simply for local governments to get their act together with their light fixtures. The IDA has helped many communities do this for little cost...

 

As I said, it's not an either or. We can work on many issues at the same time! 

 

I think I've made my case on this one, so we might just have to agree to disagree.

 

clear skies to you.


Edited by Alex Swartzinski, 21 May 2022 - 12:57 PM.

 

#61 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 21 May 2022 - 10:14 AM

Thin aluminum shields for lights cost very little, relative to the cost of the fixture.  We need sky cap type shields for all the new LED fixtures, plus their wattage should be halved, and the color temp decreased from 5000k to around 3500k.


 

#62 DSO Viewer AZ

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Posted 21 May 2022 - 10:20 AM

I compare this issue to the early days of electricity. Edison and Tesla fighting over AC vs DC. In the beginning days of this fight New York (if memory serves right) was DC with wires everywhere. Ugly and ridiculous. Over time the solution became a mix of both and greatly reduced the amount of wires going all over. Both of these men were bashed in there own time by much of the public. Now, we view them as amazing visionaries and huge contributors to our modern day life. This is the way I see Elon. While his push for Starlink is in its early days, money and functionality will likely reduce the number of sats required over time. But, you have to start somewhere. In my opinion, Elon has done far more, and spent FAR more than anyone else to reduce the issues we have with what he is trying to accomplish. He was under no obligation to reduce glare from his satellites, but spent what one can assume was millions to reduce glare by half. Even if that number is low, it’s still far more than any of us would spend. Also, the reduction in space junk by reusing the rockets that the beginning days of NASA seemed to care less about, has substantially reduced space junk. Big ole rocket bodies floating around out there is substantially larger target then these satellites. Nobody else in the space game cares one way or the other. At least Elon listened to our little community. I suspect in the coming years this problem will solve itself. The benefit to humanity will likely be significant. I am all visual, and actually find it amazing to see starlink. And after they get to orbit, I’m not sure I ever really notice them. Not the case with many other satellites. We are watching progress and history in the making. We are fortunate to live in this time I believe.
As for Astrophotographers, I am not in that world, but do find it amazing that your software allows for getting rid of the “streaks”. I did not realize until reading this thread that that was even a thing. I’m sure this tech will also improve. But, I one hundred percent understand your concerns. Just not sure that Elon is the biggest issue to your science. Chances are the newer additions to the space race are far bigger problems. China, India, etc will likely not offer an ear to yours or my concerns.


 

#63 csrlice12

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Posted 21 May 2022 - 11:30 AM

Tonight's Kessler syndrome light show is brought to you by XXX corporation....because our launch messed up.  See it tonight on PPV!


 

#64 BradFran

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Posted 22 May 2022 - 05:09 PM

What goes up, Musk come down.


 

#65 Masonry00

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Posted 23 May 2022 - 08:18 AM

Old folks convincing local cities and hoa groups that "we are not safe" unless we have enough street lights for daylight are a much bigger danger to astronomy than Musk. 

 

Absolutely! Growing light pollution is many times worse than Starlink satellites that are only illuminated by the sun and only in the first hour after sunset or the last hour before sunrise. In other words, they are only visible when the sky is not truly dark anyway. I think you will find the best astrophotographs are almost never taken during the twilight hour. 

 

In 100 years, long after most of us are gone, people will be thankful that Musk made rockets reusable and enabled humanity to become a multi-planetary species. The satellites will naturally de-orbit in 10 years so if the benefit of affordable global communication does not outweigh the inconvenience to astronomers, humanity can always revert to a sky without satellites.

 

I find it humorous and simultaneously very sad that a few haters of progress and success are all bent out of shape by a constellation of small low-earth orbit satellites while totally ignoring the elephant in the room: A huge fleet of passenger jets crisscrossing the sky while spewing a trail of black particulate matter that not only blocks and  distorts light rays, but also filters down to earth where it lodges in the lungs of earths most remote inhabitants causing respiratory illness and thousands of premature deaths every year. 

 

Add to that the global fleet of internal combustion engines creating brown domes of unhealthy and light distorting air around urban areas. When the entire globe went into COVID lockdown in Spring of 2020, the transparency of the night sky suddenly improved. Most planes were grounded and many cars stayed parked in owners garages. The air in cities developed a cleaner, sweeter smell and the rural skies were almost devoid of contrails and the black particulate matter emitted from the engines in huge quantities. The transparency of the sky took a major turn for the better.

 

This is what we have to look forward to as internal combustion engines are replaced by clean electric cars without tailpipes. Ironically, the very man who is most responsible for this rapid shift to clean energy is the same man demonized by short-sighted people worried about his constellation of satellites bringing affordable Internet to rural areas of the globe.

 

Put your efforts into reducing light pollution and the most threatening kind of pollution, the kind of pollution that actually sickens and kills thousands of people every year while obscuring the views of the heavens with it's toxic particles and gases. A constellation of satellites that only take 10 years to de-orbit naturally is child's play compared to all this. 


Edited by Masonry00, 23 May 2022 - 08:39 AM.

 

#66 csa/montana

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Posted 23 May 2022 - 09:37 AM

Let's please stay on the topic of Light Pollution!  Getting into other areas of "pollution", is off topic here.


 

#67 Masonry00

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Posted 23 May 2022 - 10:55 AM

Let's please stay on the topic of Light Pollution!  Getting into other areas of "pollution", is off topic here.

Is it your belief that pollution from airplanes, cars, and trucks does not have a direct effect on astronomical seeing?

 

Or that airplanes with navigational lights are not as disruptive as satellites?

 

Or that Elon Musk's goal to transition humanity to sustainable energy will not improve astronomical seeing by giving light pollution less particulate matter to reflect off of and increasing atmospheric transparency?

 

The thread title is "STOP ELON MUSK", it would seem there is a lot at stake here.


 

#68 BlueMoon

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Posted 23 May 2022 - 11:02 AM

 

Is it your belief that pollution from airplanes, cars, and trucks does not have a direct effect on astronomical seeing?

 

Currently, he's screwing up my enjoyment of amateur astronomy and astro-photography with the increasing number of satellites he's placing in orbit. Remember Musk's single-handed lofty goal to bring the Internet to the entire planet? Aircraft are annoying but at least we have some regulatory laws we can turn to if things get abusive. Not so with satellites and I expect it will be exploited to the fullest until we do have regulations. Trucks, cars? I guess if and when they start to fly it could be an issue ...

 

 

Or that Elon Musk's goal to transition humanity to sustainable energy will not improve astronomical seeing by giving light pollution less particulate matter to reflect off of and increasing atmospheric transparency?

Pardon my skepticism but the dude can't even decide whether he wants to buy Twitter let alone "transition humanity to sustainable energy".

Batteries for cars consume non-renewable resources. Rockets produce huge amounts of pollution and also consume resources. Satellites, like batteries, consume resources and irreplaceable rare earths. Frankly, I don't see much from Mr. Musk on the "sustainable anything" front. I'll believe it if and when it happens.

 

Clear(er) skies.


Edited by BlueMoon, 23 May 2022 - 11:44 AM.

 

#69 csa/montana

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Posted 23 May 2022 - 11:59 AM

 

Is it your belief that pollution from airplanes, cars, and trucks does not have a direct effect on astronomical seeing?

I am not saying that at all.  However, the topic is Musk and satellites;  since it seems that posts are going into other directions, despite asking to stay on topic; this thread is now locked.lock.gif


 


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