Crowded Skies

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March 10, 2020
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Crowded Skies

Astronomers are warning that our view of the sky, and our ability to research the cosmos, is under threat

With thousands of planned spacecraft launches—microsat and cubesat constellations, in addition to heavier satellites, rockets, and spaceships with rovers and human cargo—astronomers are warning that our view of the sky, and our ability to research the cosmos, is under threat.

Scientists have voiced concern that mega-constellations of microsats and cubesats will not only obstruct their view, but that they could also interfere with radio astronomy equipment.

Some commercial spacecraft manufacturers, including SpaceX, are developing new coatings that would minimize reflection and other sources of interference.