In a not-so-distant dystopian future, you might be making a wish upon a satellite.

Interesting EngineeringBy Derya Ozdemir


© NSF National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory | Elon Musk Claims Starlink Satellites Won't Impact Astronomy, but Research Says Otherwise


Imagine that the date is decades away from now, and you’re lying on the face of Earth, contemplating your place in it as the sky surrounds you. It’s so vast that your own insignificance becomes palpable, and you’re watching the sky as numerous stars shine above you. Is that an extraterrestrial object that is drifting above you? Or is it just a satellite that just happened to wander way too close to the Earth?
November 18, 2019 marks a milestone for the edge of tomorrow. An astronomer, Cliff Johnson, was watching the sky, surveying the Magellanic Clouds when a number of unfamiliar objects clouded his view. He and his team were seeing streaks coming across their webcam footage, that they couldn't identify.
What they were seeing were the 19 satellites that were passing the telescopes’ view. Just a week earlier, Elon Musk’s SpaceX had launched 60 satellites into the low Earth orbit, which were actually the uninvited guests that were clouding their footage.

This was our sky that night. And for many years, our skies will continue to be home to many more of those gleaming streaks. Maybe you will be wishing upon a satellite, who knows?


Elon Musk Claims Starlink Satellites Won't Impact Astronomy, but Research Says Otherwise
Source: NSF National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory

Starlink: It is Evolving 

As of now, SpaceX has sent 360 small satellites, and the Starlink project is only three percent complete. The company plans to construct a "mega constellation" of 12,000 satellites, and it is not the only company that has its eyes set on the horizon. OneWeb and Amazon are expected to launch numerous satellites to the orbit too.
These satellites will provide internet access to the remote areas of Earth to connect the world even more than before. They could be of important use during natural disasters since even if the communication infrastructure in the ground was damaged, people could still access space-based internet.
This article was originally published by Interesting Engineering. 
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