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Starlink satellites on every fifth telescope image at dusk (incomplete)

Starlink satellites on every fifth telescope image at dusk (incomplete)

What you see in the picture is not just the Andromeda Galaxy, which is made up of Zwicky Transit Facility (ZTF) is taken during twilight. the Störstreifenpassing through the image, comes from the Starlink satellite.

This is not an isolated case, as CNET Reports. “In 2019, 0.5% of Twilight images were affected, and now they are Nearly 20 percent“, He said Prismik Meroza former researcher at the California Institute of Technology and now based at the University of Warsaw in Poland, in the current situation. This study deals exclusively with images from the ZTF at Palomar Observatory near San Diego. The instrument is designed to scan the entire night sky every two days, looking for cosmic objects that change in any way over time such as: a supernova or near-Earth asteroids.

Table-sized satellite tracks are in the notes at dawn and dusk More clearly visible, as they are strongly reflected by the Earth and the Sun at these times. “We don’t expect the Starlink satellites to affect non-twilight images, but if the constellation of other companies’ satellites moved to higher orbits, this could cause problems for non-twilight observations,” said first author Meroz.

This week, SpaceX will 2000. Starlink satellites Within 3 years to expand the global broadband Internet system. Although not all of them are in orbit yet, the research team says the influence of the expanding constellation on some of the astronomical observations is clear. Since 2019, the number of streaks of chaos appearing on photos has increased over a 10-day period by mid-2021 more than 200 more.

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Not a big deal

Tom Princestudy co-author and former professor of physics at Caltech, points out that one Starlink effect is less than 0.1 percent Affect the pixels of each image.

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The Falcon 9 rocket launched in Florida, which put 60 satellites into orbit

“There is a small chance that we might miss an asteroid or other event hidden behind the satellite line. However, compared to weather effects, such as overcast skies, for ZTF, these effects are rather small.”

Possible solutions

Prince thinks so Programming By coordinating between astronomers and SpaceX it can help defuse problems, which also from Elon Musk Suggested by the company. The software may also be able to reduce or hide the effects of fonts on the images afterwards.

SpaceX has taken steps to reduce satellite reflection by marking each one with an “mask“Equipped to reduce brightness. The study also examined its effectiveness. According to the results, it significantly reduces brightness, although it just missed the criteria for satellite constellations set by the astronomical society for the year 2020.

However, sky surveys are expected in the future such as the Vera C. Rubin Observatory in Chile more affected will. In addition, it can be assumed that SpaceX will continue to expand its Starlink constellation. According to CNET, the company indicated that it is about 20 times or more extensive. Until now US FCC (The Federal Communications Commission) approved 12,000 satellites.