Technological developments in the space sector have led to countless satellites being launched into Earth orbit. Some of them are for GPS signal application, internet, surveillance, meteorology and even military exercises.
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However, the large number of satellites orbiting our planet can cause even greater environmental damage. According to estimates provided by the Vera Rubin Observatory, the equipment could increase sky brightness by 7.5% over the next decade.
Worrying about satellites is nothing new
The concern of many scientists about the large number of satellites is nothing new. Indeed, already in 2019, many astronomers and observatories around the world were suffering from the effects of this problem. Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites are good examples of malicious equipment.
Each launch of the small Starlink satellites carries dozens, or even hundreds, of objects that cross the sky as if they were an invasion of spaceships. By the way, it is possible to see the trace of lights with the naked eye, and it has been confused with UFOs many times.
Musk has already announced that he must launch more than 15,000 satellites to keep his Starlink web running. The problem is, the billionaire isn’t the only one with this idea.
China, for example, intends to launch more than 13,000 satellites to avoid Elon Musk’s monopoly on this sector.
severe light pollution
The problem is that the number of objects orbiting the Earth could be so great that it could jeopardize the future of astronomy. Equipped with the largest camera ever for astronomy, the Vera Rubin Observatory in Chile will experience 7.5% clearer skies in just a few years.
According to specialist John C. Barentine, of Dark Sky Consulting, the damage caused should be more than $21.8 million USD. Including it, the problem could extend and make the night more visible around the world.
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