The devices put into orbit by SpaceX left intense light trails as they passed through the night sky.
Starlink satellites placed into Earth orbit by SpaceX within a draft of broadband global network, have spoiled an image of the comet C/2020 F3 taken this week by astrophotographer Daniel López from Teide National Park in the Canary Islands.
The celestial body, also known as ‘NEOWISE’, in honor of the name of the telescope that discovered it in March of this year, reached the closest approach to Earth – about 104 million kilometers – between July 22 and 23. His path directs him to the far reaches of the solar system, and will not be visible from our planet in the next 6,800 years.
The Starlink orbital constellation, currently comprised of 540 satellites, has spoiled the rare opportunity to portray the elusive comet, leaving luminous lines as it passes through the night sky.
The SpaceX project is intended to reach to a total of 42,000 satellites. However, the idea has been criticized by not a few astronomers, who point out that the deployment of the devices prevents stargazing in some areas, due to its flashes.
“Astronomers, astrophysicists and astrophotographers are concerned about the large deployment of small satellites orbiting Earth.” express López to the Gizmodo portal.
And he added: “Personally, I think that if no action is taken, it will be the end of astronomy as we know it from the surface of the Earth“.
Meanwhile, SpaceX works in designing ‘dark’ satellites to reduce the amount of sunlight they reflect.
If you found it interesting, share it with your friends!