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Satellite swarms may outshine the night sky’s natural constellations

By   /  September 20, 2021  /  Comments Off on Satellite swarms may outshine the night sky’s natural constellations

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Fleets of private satellites orbiting Earth will be visible to the naked eye in the next few years, sometimes all night long.

Companies like SpaceX and Amazon have launched hundreds of satellites into low orbits since 2019, with plans to launch thousands more in the works — a trend that’s alarming astronomers. The goal of these satellite “mega-constellations” is to bring high-speed internet around the globe, but these bright objects threaten to disrupt astronomers’ ability to observe the cosmos (SN: 3/12/20). “For astronomers, this is kind of a pants-on-fire situation,” says radio astronomer Harvey Liszt of the National Radio Astronomical Observatory in Charlottesville, Va.

Now, a new simulation of the…



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