Josh Nadeau is a Canadian journalist from St. Petersburg who deals with the interface between Russia, technology and culture. He has written for The Economist, Atlas Obscura and The Outline.
Other contributions from this contributor
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Starlink, the satellite The branch of Elon Musk's SpaceX company has been under fire from astronomers in recent months because of concerns about the negative impact of the planned satellite clusters on night observation.
According to a preliminary report released last month by the International Astronomical Union (IAU), the satellite clusters will affect the ability of telescopes to look deep into space and will limit the number of hours that can be observed and the quality of the images taken by Observatories.
The stakes are high, and projects like Starlink may be central to the future of global internet coverage, especially as new infrastructures implement 5G and edge computing. At the same time, satellite clusters – whether from Starlink or national military – could threaten the foundations of astronomical research.
Musk himself was inconsistent in his answer. On some days, he promises to work with scientists to solve the problem. For others, like two weeks ago at the Satellite 2020 conference, he declared "confident that we will have no effect on astronomical discoveries".
Critics have pointed in many directions in search of a solution to the finger problem. Some astronomers call for space companies like Musk to represent the interests of science (Amazon and Facebook) have also developed satellite projects similar to those of SpaceX. . Others call on national or international governing bodies to take and create measures to deal with the problem. But there is another sphere that could offer a solution: startups that want to develop “intelligent telescopes” that can compensate for cluster disruptions.
If they keep their promise, intelligent telescopes and shutter units save time and money by protecting images that are incredibly complicated to create.