APOD: Starlink Satellite Trails over Brazil (2019 Dec 10)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
User avatar
APOD Robot
Otto Posterman
Posts: 3830
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:27 am

APOD: Starlink Satellite Trails over Brazil (2019 Dec 10)

Post by APOD Robot » Tue Dec 10, 2019 5:10 am

Image Starlink Satellite Trails over Brazil

Explanation: What are those streaks over the horizon? New Starlink satellites reflecting sunlight. SpaceX launched 60 Starlink communication satellites in May and 60 more in November. These satellites and thousands more are planned by communications companies in the next few years that may make streaks like these relatively common. Concern has been voiced by many in the astronomical community about how reflections from these satellites may affect future observations into space. In the pictured composite of 33 exposures, parallel streaks from Starlink satellites are visible over southern Brazil. Sunflowers dot the foreground, while a bright meteor was caught by chance on the upper right. Satellite reflections are not new -- the constellation of 66 first-generation Iridium satellites launched starting 20 years ago produced some flares so bright that they could be seen during the day. Most of these old Iridium satellites, however, have been de-orbited over the past few years.

<< Previous APOD This Day in APOD Next APOD >>

User avatar
orin stepanek
Plutopian
Posts: 5282
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 3:41 pm
Location: Nebraska

Re: APOD: Starlink Satellite Trails over Brazil (2019 Dec 10)

Post by orin stepanek » Tue Dec 10, 2019 11:27 am

Maybe I shouldn't complain; but my opinion is that they mess up the sky for star gazers! :|
Orin

Smile today; tomorrow's another day!

User avatar
neufer
Vacationer at Tralfamadore
Posts: 16805
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:57 pm
Location: Alexandria, Virginia

Re: APOD: Starlink Satellite Trails over Brazil (2019 Dec 10)

Post by neufer » Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:28 pm

orin stepanek wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 11:27 am

Maybe I shouldn't complain; but my opinion is that they mess up the sky for star gazers! :|
Define "star gazer." (My own urban sky went years ago.)

They certainly mess up the sky for astronomers (...especially of the radio variety).
Art Neuendorffer

BDanielMayfield
Don't bring me down
Posts: 2249
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:24 am
AKA: Bruce
Location: East Idaho

Re: APOD: Starlink Satellite Trails over Brazil (2019 Dec 10)

Post by BDanielMayfield » Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:53 pm

Wikipedia wrote:Starlink is a satellite constellation being constructed by American company SpaceX[1][2] to provide satellite Internet access.[3][4] The constellation will consist of thousands of mass-produced small satellites, working in combination with ground transceivers. SpaceX also plans to sell some of the satellites for military,[5] scientific or exploratory purposes.[6]

As of November 2019, SpaceX has deployed 122 satellites. They plan to deploy 60 more per launch, at a rate of one launch every two weeks beginning in November 2019. In total, nearly 12,000 satellites will be deployed by the mid-2020s, with a possible later extension to 42,000.[7] The initial 12,000 satellites are planned to orbit in three orbital shells: first placing approximately 1,600 in a 550-kilometer (340 mi)-altitude shell, then approximately 2,800 Ku- and Ka-band spectrum satellites at 1,150 km (710 mi) and approximately 7,500 V-band satellites at 340 km (210 mi).[8] Commercial operation could begin in 2020.[9]

Concerns have been raised about the long term danger of space junk resulting from placing thousands of satellites in orbits above 1,000 kilometres (620 mi)[10] and a possible impact on astronomy,[11] although SpaceX is reportedly attempting to solve the issue.[12]
How can they "solve the issue" :?:
"Happy are the peaceable ... "

User avatar
orin stepanek
Plutopian
Posts: 5282
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 3:41 pm
Location: Nebraska

Re: APOD: Starlink Satellite Trails over Brazil (2019 Dec 10)

Post by orin stepanek » Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:54 pm

neufer wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:28 pm
orin stepanek wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 11:27 am

Maybe I shouldn't complain; but my opinion is that they mess up the sky for star gazers! :|
Define "star gazer." (My own urban sky went years ago.)

They certainly mess up the sky for astronomers (...especially of the radio variety).
Well; I can still see the Orion: Luna; the Pleiades; Mars; & Venus! :mrgreen: Oh; and the dippers!
Orin

Smile today; tomorrow's another day!

User avatar
Chris Peterson
Abominable Snowman
Posts: 14816
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:13 pm
Location: Guffey, Colorado, USA

Re: APOD: Starlink Satellite Trails over Brazil (2019 Dec 10)

Post by Chris Peterson » Tue Dec 10, 2019 2:03 pm

BDanielMayfield wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:53 pm
Wikipedia wrote:Concerns have been raised about the long term danger of space junk resulting from placing thousands of satellites in orbits above 1,000 kilometres (620 mi)[10] and a possible impact on astronomy,[11] although SpaceX is reportedly attempting to solve the issue.[12]
How can they "solve the issue" :?:
The astronomical issue can be partly mitigated by changing the shape of surfaces on the satellites and by using materials and coatings that have low reflectivity.
Chris

*****************************************
Chris L Peterson
Cloudbait Observatory
http://www.cloudbait.com

TheZuke!
Ensign
Posts: 85
Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2019 2:19 pm

Re: APOD: Starlink Satellite Trails over Brazil (2019 Dec 10)

Post by TheZuke! » Tue Dec 10, 2019 2:41 pm

orin stepanek wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:54 pm
Well; I can still see the Orion: Luna; the Pleiades; Mars; & Venus! :mrgreen: Oh; and the dippers!
"Before the breathing air is gone,
before the Sun, is just a bright star in the nighttime." :(

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3gGn6t8Bog

TheZuke!
Ensign
Posts: 85
Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2019 2:19 pm

Re: APOD: Starlink Satellite Trails over Brazil (2019 Dec 10)

Post by TheZuke! » Tue Dec 10, 2019 2:44 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 2:03 pm
The astronomical issue can be partly mitigated by changing the shape of surfaces on the satellites and by using materials and coatings that have low reflectivity.
Or by the billionaire financier sending his security team (AKA: Bruno, Knuckles, and Tiny) to any complaining astronomers to "silence" their concerns.
:wink:

User avatar
neufer
Vacationer at Tralfamadore
Posts: 16805
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:57 pm
Location: Alexandria, Virginia

A murmuration of Starlinks

Post by neufer » Tue Dec 10, 2019 2:54 pm

APOD Robot wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 5:10 am
Image Starlink Satellite Trails over Brazil

Explanation: What are those streaks over the horizon? New Starlink satellites reflecting sunlight. SpaceX launched 60 Starlink communication satellites in May and 60 more in November. These satellites and thousands more are planned by communications companies in the next few years that may make streaks like these relatively common. Concern has been voiced by many in the astronomical community about how reflections from these satellites may affect future observations into space.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugene_Schieffelin wrote:
Click to play embedded YouTube video.
<<Eugene Schieffelin (b. New York 1827; d. Rhode Island 1906) belonged to the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society and the New York Zoological Society. In 1890, He released 60 starlings into New York City’s Central Park. He did the same with another 40 birds in 1891. It is said (though there is no evidence to support this) that his motivation was to allow New Yorkers to see all the birds mentioned in the plays of William Shakespeare; more likely he was merely trying to control the same pests that had been annoying him thirty years earlier, when he sponsored the introduction of the House Sparrow to North America. Schieffelin belonged to the Acclimation Society of North America, a group with the seemingly laudable, if misguided, aim of aiding the exchange of plants and animals from one part of the world to another. In the 19th Century, such acclimatization societies were fashionable and supported by the scientific knowledge and beliefs of that era, as the effect that non-native species could have on the local ecosystem was not yet known.>>
http://birdsofbard.blogspot.com/ wrote:
Bioinvasion: From Old World to New
By Chad Cohen, National Geographic, January 23, 2001

<<Shakespeare compared sparrows to angels that could awaken dreamers from feathery beds. He mused on larks singing at the gates of heaven and the love songs of robins. Birds of all feathers flutter throughout the works of the bard. From the majesty of their flight to the sweet sounds of their songs, the imagery they evoked captured the imagination of generations. So much so that, in 1890, an eccentric New Yorker and Shakespeare fanatic named Eugene Schieffelin felt compelled to introduce all the birds of Shakespeare to the United States.

“In the 1800s, there was a lot of this, a lot of societies bringing things over,” says Joe DiCostanzo, a bird specialist for the American Museum of Natural History. DiCostanzo says Schieffelin was not the only person to share the flora and fauna of the Old World with the new. Immigrants tried to introduce all kinds of birds, plants, and animals in the late 19th century to remind them of home. “Most of [the bio-introductions] don’t work; most of them die out; they just don’t fit in,” says DiCostanzo. “But some of them did. Unfortunately some of them did too well, things like starlings, I see starlings flying by us right now.”

The starling’s ability to mimic human speech earned the bird this cameo in Shakespeare’s Henry IV: “The king forbade my tongue to speak of Mortimer. But I will find him when he is asleep, and in his ear I’ll holler ‘Mortimer!’ Nay I’ll have a starling shall be taught to speak nothing but Mortimer, and give it to him to keep his anger still in motion.” It is the only mention of the starling in all of Shakespeare. Yet it was enough to inspire Schieffelin to import 60 of the fruitful birds to the United States and release them one March day in New York’s Central Park. “The very first nests were here, under the eves of [New York City’s] Museum of Natural History,” says DiCostanzo, “And from those first few starlings, [which] might be considered the Adam and Eve of North American starlings, we now have 200 million.” These 200 million—together with their other feathered friends like house sparrows, and pigeons—make up the majority of the birds most Americans see everyday. None of these are native to the United States. The invaders compete for food with native birds like purple martens and eastern bluebirds, which have been pushed to the brink of extinction. Since the locals tend to fly south for the winter, the foreign birds that are here perenially have an advantage when it comes to nesting spots. “There’s no place for the native birds to come back after their migration,” explains DiCostanzo. “They just get forced out and if they can’t nest, eventually the population is going to go down. And that’s been one of the big problems. I don’t know how [Schieffelin] would feel knowing that the bird he introduced with just 60 birds in central park has become 200 million,” concludes DiCostanza. “He might feel he’s accomplished his goal of bringing this bird of Shakespeare over here. The starling is probably more familiar to people now than Shakespeare...in a lot of the country.”>>
Art Neuendorffer

User avatar
orin stepanek
Plutopian
Posts: 5282
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 3:41 pm
Location: Nebraska

Re: APOD: Starlink Satellite Trails over Brazil (2019 Dec 10)

Post by orin stepanek » Tue Dec 10, 2019 6:57 pm

Oh the Starlings; like a bunch of confused birds! :mrgreen:
Orin

Smile today; tomorrow's another day!

daddyo
Ensign
Posts: 72
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:48 am

Re: APOD: Starlink Satellite Trails over Brazil (2019 Dec 10)

Post by daddyo » Tue Dec 10, 2019 7:29 pm

A $10 billion project employing 7000 people, and "No one thought of this"?

https://spacenews.com/spacex-working-on ... astronomy/

BDanielMayfield
Don't bring me down
Posts: 2249
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:24 am
AKA: Bruce
Location: East Idaho

Re: APOD: Starlink Satellite Trails over Brazil (2019 Dec 10)

Post by BDanielMayfield » Tue Dec 10, 2019 10:12 pm

daddyo wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 7:29 pm
A $10 billion project employing 7000 people, and "No one thought of this"?

https://spacenews.com/spacex-working-on ... astronomy/
RIGHT! Quoting that link:
The coating that is being applied to one of the satellites in the third batch of Starlinks is just the first step toward finding a permanent solution as more satellites get deployed. Shotwell said the company plans to launch batches of 60 satellites every two to three weeks over the next year to build the constellation that by mid 2020 will be ready to provide global coverage.

Shotwell admitted that nobody in the company anticipated the problem when the satellites were first designed.

“No one thought of this,” she said. “We didn’t think of it. The astronomy community didn’t think of it.”
The "astronomy community" absolutely has known this is a problem. Pure corporate bs.
"Happy are the peaceable ... "

User avatar
geckzilla
Ocular Digitator
Posts: 9034
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2007 12:42 pm
Location: Modesto, CA

Re: APOD: Starlink Satellite Trails over Brazil (2019 Dec 10)

Post by geckzilla » Wed Dec 11, 2019 6:54 am

The astronomy community was largely caught by surprise when the first set of satellites was launched. Shows how little overlap there really is between SpaceX and astronomers.
Just call me "geck" because "zilla" is like a last name.

User avatar
orin stepanek
Plutopian
Posts: 5282
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 3:41 pm
Location: Nebraska

Re: APOD: Starlink Satellite Trails over Brazil (2019 Dec 10)

Post by orin stepanek » Wed Dec 11, 2019 3:10 pm

Does mankind really need all that junk upthere?
Orin

Smile today; tomorrow's another day!

User avatar
Chris Peterson
Abominable Snowman
Posts: 14816
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:13 pm
Location: Guffey, Colorado, USA

Re: APOD: Starlink Satellite Trails over Brazil (2019 Dec 10)

Post by Chris Peterson » Wed Dec 11, 2019 3:19 pm

orin stepanek wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 3:10 pm
Does mankind really need all that junk upthere?
Personally, I'll happily trade a bit of astronomical inconvenience for decent Internet access, which I don't see happening without a constellation of satellites providing that service. These satellites aren't "junk", nor are most. They're providing value.
Chris

*****************************************
Chris L Peterson
Cloudbait Observatory
http://www.cloudbait.com

User avatar
orin stepanek
Plutopian
Posts: 5282
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 3:41 pm
Location: Nebraska

Re: APOD: Starlink Satellite Trails over Brazil (2019 Dec 10)

Post by orin stepanek » Wed Dec 11, 2019 4:04 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 3:19 pm
orin stepanek wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 3:10 pm
Does mankind really need all that junk upthere?
Personally, I'll happily trade a bit of astronomical inconvenience for decent Internet access, which I don't see happening without a constellation of satellites providing that service. These satellites aren't "junk", nor are most. They're providing value.
You're probably right; you usually are; but I personally think some of it is way overdone! Heck the astronauts have to be extra careful with their flights now!
Orin

Smile today; tomorrow's another day!

User avatar
Chris Peterson
Abominable Snowman
Posts: 14816
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:13 pm
Location: Guffey, Colorado, USA

Re: APOD: Starlink Satellite Trails over Brazil (2019 Dec 10)

Post by Chris Peterson » Wed Dec 11, 2019 4:13 pm

orin stepanek wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 4:04 pm
Chris Peterson wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 3:19 pm
orin stepanek wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 3:10 pm
Does mankind really need all that junk upthere?
Personally, I'll happily trade a bit of astronomical inconvenience for decent Internet access, which I don't see happening without a constellation of satellites providing that service. These satellites aren't "junk", nor are most. They're providing value.
You're probably right; you usually are; but I personally think some of it is way overdone! Heck the astronauts have to be extra careful with their flights now!
Well, part of the problem is that useful stuff can get turned into junk. We haven't been very careful about that, although we're starting to pay more attention. And it doesn't help when governments deliberately shoot missiles at stuff in orbit to practice space warfare. There are some huge clouds of dangerous debris up there from that kind of irresponsible action.
Chris

*****************************************
Chris L Peterson
Cloudbait Observatory
http://www.cloudbait.com