55 A train of parallel satellites can be seen in this time-lapse image taken in Italy Credit: Farra Observatory Is Starlink ‘blocking’ the night sky?
The Starlink program is controversial among astronomers, who have slammed Musk’s hare-brained scheme.
They say Starlink gets in the way of observations due to light reflected off the the satellites.
University of Western Ontario meteor researcher Denis Vida stated in a blog post last year: “One has to be concerned how will our skies look like when hearing that there are plans to launch a total of , satellites.
“This might completely deny us to do any optical meteor observations as soon as . ”
Never one to take something lying down, Musk has lashed back at his critics, claiming the satellites have no such impact.
Speaking at a conference in Washington DC last month, he said: “I am confident that we will not cause any impact whatsoever in astronomical discoveries. Zero. That’s my prediction.
“We’ll take corrective action if it’s above zero.”
SpaceX engineers are also said to be looking into making the satellites a bit less shiny so they won’t reflect the sun as much.
Will Starlink ‘trap’ humanity on Earth?
There are concerns that humanity could be trapped on Earth by too much space junk in Earth’s orbit.
That’s according to one space scientist, who says Starlink could create an impenetrable wall of rubbish around our planet.
A catastrophic clutter of space debris left behind by the satellites could block rockets from leaving Earth, an effect known as “Kessler syndrome”.
“The worst case is: You launch all your satellites, you go bankrupt, and they all stay there,” European Space Agency scientist Dr Stijn Lemmens told (Scientific American .
“Then you have thousands of new satellites without a plan of getting them out of there. And you would have a Kessler-type of syndrome.”
It will take thousands of years for any SpaceX satellites left in our orbit to descend to Earth and burn up in the atmosphere.
The firm says it’s already taken steps to avoid cluttering up the region. It’s launching the satellites into a lower orbital plane than most space tech to avoid collisions.
SpaceX’s fourth launch of Starlink satellites from Space Launch Complex 150 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
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