March 31, 2023


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Confusion about the bright satellite.  Elon you bastard!  Science will not forget you

Confusion about the bright satellite. Elon you bastard! Science will not forget you

For many years, it belonged to the name of the brightest satellite on Earth iridium. These communications satellites were ensuring satellite communications, which when positioned correctly relative to the observer, Causes a glow of -8 degrees. On this scale, the lower the negative point, the brighter it is. None of the natural objects in the night sky except the Moon (MAG-12) and the Sun (MAG-26) can match it in brightness.

From 2020 when The orbit of the last iridium satellite has been removed From the old generation, the name of the brightest passed to the International Space Station. Admittedly, it is a far cry from the brightness of its predecessors, but with the right conditions Can reach -4 degrees. This makes it contradictory It stands out in the sky through its high lanes.

Soon it will be declassified. because of Falcon 9 rockets from SpaceX The largest commercial communications system in history has reached space. The device is called BlueWalker3 i It is a prototype of the American company AST SpaceMobile. Its design allows direct communication with regular phones, without any additional burden on the user.

However, it is impressive that such satellites go into orbit The project raises a lot of controversy in the astronomical community. It has to do with the predicted brightness of the satellite, which may outperform not only the International Space Station, but also the iridium diorite before 2020. After expanding your panels, BlueWalker3 will create a circular target with an area of ​​64 square meters (Diameter is about 10 meters).

Astronomers know why such a huge satellite is in orbit. It may turn out to be a perfect comparison NASA launched the Echo-1 into space in 1960. The telecommunications experience was also great in size, as it reflected a lot of sunlight and was visible from many places on Earth. Fortunately, it ended quickly without causing much discomfort in the astronomical community.

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As evidenced by the company’s position AST SpaceMobile, BlueWalker 3 is one of many large satellites placed in orbit. Astronomers are sounding the alarm This could jeopardize scientific observations made by ground-based astronomical telescopes.

It is enough to hover over us Starlink Satellite Network has been developed since 2019Currently, they number about 2,200 individual devices. Their presence can be felt even by amateur astrophotographers, as evidenced by many Examples posted on social media.

new The satellite is sure to become an amazing gem in the night skyBut when you get bored of observers, it can turn into space debris, much to the dismay of scientists. Astronomers expected similar devices to appear more frequently in the future The Center for the Protection of the Dark and Silent Sky from Disturbance of the Constellation of Satellites of the International Astronomical Union And… they wouldn’t hesitate to use it.