Starlink increasingly visible in the sky
Starlink satellites are increasingly being seen from Iceland. When you see streaks of light in the night sky, they are actually a number of small satellites for Starlink. The project is a project of the US company SpaceX, owned by the wealthy Elon Musk, and is a means to establish a worldwide network.
Among other things, mbl.is received a tip of a prominent streak of light at four o’clock on Sunday night, which was a satellite cluster by Starlink. Sævar Helgi Bragason, editor of the Astronomy website, says the cluster was first spotted from Iceland in the late spring.
“There are only a few [satellites] in pole orbit now, but at the end of the day, there are going to be thousands of satellites orbiting the Earth, not only from SpaceX, but also from other companies.”
Bragason says that after launching, the planets will look like a celestial train. “This will disrupt your research, and all of this will affect the appearance of the heavens.”
He says that the clusters have caused very negative reactions, especially among astronomers, since they interfere with their study.
Efforts were made to reduce the light pollution from the satellites, but without much success. “The current telescopes are so sensitive that it will always have a powerful effect. ”
Bragason relates that in a few years “we could be looking at tens of thousands of satellites in orbit that will soon come into play that will affect the visibility of the sky especially when the sun is new,” but he points out that the satellites are most visible around sunsets and sunrises.
“We can expect to see this increasingly in the coming years, unfortunately.”
A high price for the Internet
It's not just SpaceX that has plans to launch more satellites. Companies like Amazon and OneWeb have similar projects on the horizon, and there are even plans to launch Chinese satellites in the coming years.
“In any case, these clusters are to be launched to secure worldwide networks. To do this, people have to buy a receiver that can be worth ten thousand to a hundred thousand ISK” says Bragason.
People watch as a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from launch pad 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on February 27, 2023 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. AFP/Joe Raedle
“It’s a surprise to many that I’m so negative about this,” he adds, “but he insists that all those who are interested in looking up at the sky, both professionals and amateurs, are negatively affected by these satellites.
“The purpose is first and last to establish an internet connection, but it’s just a little too high a price to pay. Unfortunately, there is no large pressure group fighting this, and the companies will win a superior victory there,” he concludes.