Satellite “highways” aren’t a big deal just yet, but they will soon become a thing as SpaceX and other companies launch more satellites into orbit.
According to a new study, SpaceX’s satellite internet system is causing images from at least one observatory to show many “satellites lines”. Although no research has been disrupted so far, the problem is expected to grow even more as SpaceX and other companies plan to launch thousands of additional satellites in the coming years.
The authors of the study, which was published on the website of the American Astronomical Society, wrote: “We found that the number of ‘interlaced’ images is increasing as SpaceX uses more and more satellites.
For years, astronomers have been concerned about Starlink’s effect on their observations. SpaceX’s broadband system currently operates more than 1,400 active satellites in low Earth orbit. The “shadow” effect can create a streak in astronomical images and can ruin scientific observations.
A recent analysis revealed 5,301 satellite “lines” attributed to Starlink. Additionally, the “lines” increased as SpaceX launched more satellites into orbit.
Garbage is also a major concern in space, as it throws away materials from carrier vehicles, such as rockets or parts of spacecraft that remain in space. As this debris or material floats in space, it can come into contact with satellites or space stations.