- Studies have shown that SpaceX satellites are increasingly photobombing astronomical images.
- It confirmed a 35-fold increase in dim images destroyed by satellite-induced fringes.
- The numbers are “increasing over time as SpaceX deploys more satellites,” they wrote.
According to a survey released by the Astrophysical Journal Letters, SpaceX launched 150 Starlink satellites last month and now has more than 1,900 satellites launched.
SpaceX has been approved by the US Federal Communications Commission to operate 12,000 satellites.
In this study, we found that the number of astronomical survey facilities increased 35 times. [ZTF] Striped images taken during dim light – from less than 0.5% in late 2019 to 18% in August 2021.
“We can see that as SpaceX deploys more satellites, the number of affected images increases over time,” the researchers write.
“We estimate that when the Starlink constellation size reaches 10,000, essentially all ZTF images taken at dusk can be affected.”
NASA spokesman said The Wall Street Journal The satellite “may interfere with observations on the ground by increasing the complexity of distinguishing satellites from natural objects such as asteroids and comets.”
SpaceX and NASA did not immediately respond to insider comment requests.
Eric Belm, an astronomer at the University of Washington, said stripes shouldn’t constitute an image study objective, but could complicate efforts to detect potentially dangerous asteroids. Told to.
Researchers in this study claim that the potential for streaks that could prevent the discovery of dangerous asteroids remains small. However, “as Starlink satellites are deployed in orbit, the number of images affected by the satellite’s orbit has increased surprisingly,” they write.
Insider Kate Duffy SpaceX reported Thursday that it put 49 Starlink satellites into orbit with the help of the Falcon 9 rocket.