Astronomers are concerned about how the rapid expansion of satellite constellations like Elon Musk’s Starlink may affect the night sky. Experts have issued a warning about the rising light pollution. Light pollution has been brought on by these constellations of low-altitude satellites in several articles published in the journal Nature Astronomy. To limit light pollution and protect our capacity to observe the skies, they have urged a ban on megaconstellations.
The night sky has seen a significant shift. The change results from the sun’s illumination of man-made satellites and related space junk. Experts say that it will become more difficult to see faint astrophysical signals when brightness rises. There is a chance that we will no longer be able to see the natural beauty of a clear night sky. Concerns about the effect on the general public include the possibility that people will have a harder time observing the Milky Way, well-known constellations, weak aurorae, and faint meteors.
According to scientists, quick action is required to control satellite constellations and lessen light pollution. They have advocated restricting the number of satellites in low orbit, which is likely already excessive. To reduce the effect on biological systems, caps should be added for nighttime artificial light.
One of the issues identified by experts is that a longer time is required to gather and combine data. Therefore, increasing the night sky brightness may result in research facilities losing efficiency and incurring a bigger cost burden. Satellite trails in astronomical photographs are also a source of concern. It has serious social repercussions when near-Earth asteroids are discovered that pose a significant risk of collision with our planet.
According to the authors of the publications, it is improbable that the sources of light pollution—whether they are low-altitude satellites, ground-based LEDs, or other lamps—will regulate themselves. As a result, scientists need to take a stand against the “big light” and implement legislation. Megaconstellations of low-altitude satellites have too many effects and risks, according to the experts. The experts argue that they should either be restricted or banned entirely.