A mere one-fifth of twilight photos contain bright streaks due to low orbit satellites.
SpaceX’s ‘Starlink’ satellites are polluting orbit and could result in near-Earth asteroids avoiding detection, study says.
Recently, a study found that SpaceX and other commercial satellite companies are increasing their use of low orbit spacecraft. It is also affecting the quality of astronomical images. Earth could be more vulnerable to the impact of asteroids.
The article, which was published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters on Friday, claimed that thousands of satellites from programs such as SpaceX’s ‘Starlink’ are causing an alarming number of twilight astronomical photographs to be covered in bright streaks.
Although less than 0.5% featured streaks on twilight shots in 2019, this number soared to an astounding 18% by August 2021. That means nearly one-fifth of all twilight photography is now covered by satellite lines.
According to the researchers, satellite trails are now available “disproportionately affect twilight and high-air-mass observations,”these are used to locate comets near the Earth. Researchers may soon be missing some asteroids or comets due to the rapid increase in trailing.
According to the study’s authors, the current numbers aren’t high enough to significantly affect the search, though the situation is changing fast.
On Sunday, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk boastedThere were 1,469 Starlink Satellites currently in low orbit. There are thousands of satellites orbiting Earth as well, according to a September report.
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