Philadelphia A series of lights twinkling across the night sky over parts of the United States on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, has made some people wonder if a fleet of UFOs is coming, but others – most amateur and professional astronomers – lament the industrialization of the world. . The space.
The String of Lights was actually a series of relatively low-flying satellites that SpaceX, the company SpaceX, launched this week. Elon MuskAs part of your Starlink internet service. From Texas to Wisconsin, residents saturated phone lines for television stations to report lights and brood over UFOs.
An email sent to a SpaceX spokesperson on Saturday has not been returned, but astronomy experts say the number of lights in quick succession and their distance from Earth allowed the Starlink satellites to be easily identified by those who used to see them.
“The way you can tell they’re Starlink satellites is that they’re like a string of pearls, and lights are going in the same primary orbit, one after the other.”The doctor said Richard Feinberg, Press Director of the American Astronomical Society.
Veinberg added that satellites launched in large groups called constellations line up in orbit, especially right after launch. The chain gets smaller over time.
SpaceX this month launched dozens of satellites. All of this is part of a plan to unify the digital divide and give unprotected parts of the world access to the Internet, as SpaceX is set to launch another 120 satellites this month. Overall, the company sent nearly 1,500 satellites into orbit and requested permission to launch thousands more.
Feinberg explained that a few years ago, there might have been a few hundred satellites in orbit around Earth, the most visible of which are like individual lights beaming across the sky. He added that a handful of other companies planning, or launching, satellite constellations have not done so recently, and have largely pushed them off Earth.
Feinberg’s group, as well as others representing amateur and professional astronomers, do not like the proliferation of satellites that can block scientific data and spoil a clear night of staring at the universe. The International Astronomical Union released a statement in July 2019 expressing its concern about the multiple satellite launches.
“The organization, in general, accepts the principle of the dark sky and without wireless transmission, not only as essential to advancing the understanding of the universe we are a part of, but also as a resource for all humanity and for the protection of“ night wildlife, ”the representative of the group wrote. Interferes with astronomical research, but radio waves can also cause problems with specialized research equipment such as the one that captured the first images of a black hole.