As megaconstellations grow, scientists become concerned with their impacts on astronomy

Published by NASASpaceflight on 04/23/2023 UTC

Since their initial launch in 2019, SpaceX’s Starlink internet satellites have become infamous for photobombing observations from ground-based telescopes. While Starlink — along with other satellite “megaconstellations” — has been a primary concern for ground-based telescope observations, a new issue has begun to pop up; the satellites are now occasionally obstructing images from one of NASA’s flagship space telescopes, the Hubble Space Telescope. These “photobombings” point to a concerning future for astronomy in low Earth orbit (LEO), as telescopes in LEO may begin to face the same problems ground-based telescopes face today — especially as these satellite megaconstellations grow.

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