Episode 614

Starlink And Its Impact On Astronomy

00:00:00
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00:10:53

January 17th, 2020

10 mins 53 secs

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About this Episode

On Monday, January 6th, 2020, another SpaceX Falcon 9 blasted off from Cape Canaveral, carrying another 60 Starlink internet communications satellites, bringing the full size of the constellation to 180. With just three launches, SpaceX becomes the largest satellite operator in the world.

But the company is just getting started. They’re planning to do this again every couple of weeks during 2020, bringing the total number of satellites in the constellation to about 1440, which is enough to provide high-speed internet services to the United States and parts of Canada.

Shortly after launch, as the satellites are raising their altitude, they’re clearly visible to the eye as they streak across the sky in a close train.

Astronomers aren’t happy.

Thumbnail credit: Victoria Girgis/Lowell Observatory

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References:
https://www.businessinsider.com/spacex-starlink-internet-satellites-itc-filing-30000-additional-42000-total-2019-10
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-fccs-approval-of-spacexs-starlink-mega-constellation-may-have-been-unlawful/
https://www.theverge.com/2020/1/14/21043229/spacex-starlink-satellite-mega-constellation-concerns-astronomy-space-traffic
https://spacenews.com/spacex-gets-ok-to-re-space-starlink-orbits/
https://www.businessinsider.com/spacex-starlink-satellite-ufo-terminals-how-network-works-2020-1

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