Throughout the month of July, comet Neowise cut through the planet’s sky. From the northern hemisphere to the south of the world, cameras were waiting for the perfect image of the phenomenon that should only be repeated more than 6 thousand years from now.
But, for some astrophotographers, the result was not as expected. Instead of the comet in the middle of a starry sky, images shared on social media are cut by several brilliant streaks — traces of Starlink satellite constellation.
Starlink is a project by SpaceX, company of Elon Musk, who wants to establish a telecommunication network in low Earth orbit, close to Earth, and provide fast internet anywhere on the planet.
These artificial satellites, which reflect sunlight, also have interfered with observations made by astronomers. In addition to their intense brightness that can saturate detectors of large telescopes, they also saw obstacles that pose a risk of collision with other space equipment.
SpaceX, however, is not the only company with this type of investment: OneWeb and Amazon also intend to build their mega-constellations. In all, there would be about 26,000 new artificial satellites orbiting the Earth in the coming years.
The dispute between companies and scientists for the sky is the theme of this Friday’s Breakfast (31). In the episode, science reporter Salvador Nogueira, who subscribes to the Folha Mensaleiro Sideral blog, talks about how much these satellite-filled projects can hinder science and what already exists to safeguard space.
The audio program is published on Spotify, Folha’s partner streaming service in the initiative and which specializes in music, podcast and video. You can listen to the episode by clicking below. To access the application just register for free.
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The Breakfast is published from Monday to Friday, always at the beginning of the day. The episode is presented by journalists Magê Flores and Maurício Meireles, with production by Jéssica Maes and Renan Sukevicius and sound editing by Thomé Granemann.