Wednesday, June 05, 2019


We all need dumb obsessions, and my latest one is how everything Elon touches eventually turns to shit.
Dealing with the effects of modern technology is nothing new for those who collect light for a living. But Starlink’s end goal is the real problem. Currently, some 200 to 400 satellites orbit about 373 miles above our heads, the same altitude for the Starlink constellation. That’s bad enough for astronomical data. And Musk would like to turn that 400 into about 12,000.

In true Silicon Valley fashion, Musk and his team didn’t consult with any scientists, astronomers or ethicists about what launching 12,000 satellites into space might mean. “The fact that these new objects in the sky were so bright, and brighter than many of the stars, was just quite terrifying, actually,” says Jessie Christianson, a scientist at the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute at the California Institute of Technology. “Basically, what it means is that some fraction of ground-based astronomy images, especially wide field surveys, will be not as useful for science.”