Comet NEOWISE is an astonishing rare comet from the Outer Solar System, which can only be seen once every 6,800 years. Unfortunately, it seems like that the SpaceX Starlink satellites have been ‘polluting’ the sky and photobombing any good camera shots as of late.
17 30-second images of the comet added up by @cielodecanarias, completely photobombed by @elonmusk's #Starlink satellites. It's a few hundreds of them right now,there will be a few thousands in the near future. @SpaceX is committed to coating orienting them better but still…. pic.twitter.com/TYtTf5xwhc
— Julien Girard (@djulik) July 22, 2020
Starlink is an efficient internet service through satellites, reportedly able to reach speeds of a gigabyte per second since these are in a low Earth orbit (LEO). Starlink will be funding missions to the moon and Mars soon, by providing broadband internet service as mentioned above. As reported by CNET, there are currently 500+ of these SpaceX orbiting routers in space.
While the satellites aren’t always visible to the naked eye, their bright trails and reflective material are becoming hard to avoid in astrophotography. SpaceX has already done some trials with “DarkSat”, which had received darkening reflective surface treatment. Elon Musk has confirmed that the company has developed “VisorStat”. These satellites would be equipped with visors to shield the sun and drastically lower the brightness of its material.
Comet NEOWISE will reportedly be out of sight by the end of the month. As SpaceX (and other companies) plan to launch thousands of more satellites to build an internet network, this could become a big problem for astronomers and astrophotographers in the future.
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