Radio signals leaking from Starlink satellites continue to disrupt astronomy. The growing number of Starlink satellites raises concerns about the future of astronomy.
The fact that the Starlink satellites continue to hamper radio astronomy despite efforts to limit their impact raises astronomers’ concerns about the future of this important avenue of scientific discovery. It is underlined that radio signals leaking from Starlink satellites continue to affect scientists’ observations.
Astronomers at the Netherlands-based LOFAR telescope have observed dozens of SpaceX Starlink satellites and found that they continue to emit “unwanted electromagnetic radiation” from their electronics, the International Astronomical Union said in a statement. In the study of Starlink satellites, it was determined that the observed satellites emit signals at frequencies that cause interference in radio astronomy observations.
Starlink satellites render radio telescopes dysfunctional
The interference emitted by Starlink satellites makes it extremely difficult for radio telescopes to detect signals from distant objects in space. Under normal conditions, radio telescopes are placed in isolated, special areas where interference will not occur. In this way, interference from both terrestrial and orbiting satellites is avoided.
SpaceX’s Starlink satellites pose a very different problem. Starlink, which aims to provide a global internet connection and requires a satellite constellation of tens of thousands of satellites in low Earth orbit, runs the risk of bombarding these noise-free places with noise.
The larger the constellation in simulations, the greater the radiation from all satellites, says study lead author Benjamin Winkel from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR) in Germany. It is stated that the situation is difficult even under the current conditions, and it is stated that astronomers are worried about the lack of a clear regulation that protects the radio astronomy bands from unwanted radiation.
The researchers emphasize that SpaceX has not violated any laws or regulations, and that the company has been proactive in improving the effects of Starlink satellites. But the problem is that without the relevant international rules, it seems extremely difficult to take measures to cover everyone. Because it is not only Elon Musk who aims to provide internet from satellite, but also Europe and China have similar programs.