Night Sky Imaging w/ 6,000 Starlink Satellites

I refer to the recent news that SpaceX Starlink is and will be putting thousands of low earth satellites in orbit that will be visible to all humans at night worldwide. The idea to provide “free internet to all”.

What might the imaging consequences be?

Dunno if you can read it without a subscription, but The Economist from England has a compelling article on this entitled Satellites Versus Astronomers: The Unexpected Brightness of New Satellites Could Ruin The Night Sky. I’m betting satellite tracks in the night sky will be as ubiquitous as jet contrails over national parks today.

It’s certainly disconcerting. There seems to be a lot of unknowns right now and I think little thought has been given to this. The IDA just put out this statement, which didn’t say much.

From what I’ve read it sounds like once they reach their final orbit they will only be visible 2 hours after sunset and 2 hours before sunrise. But I’ve heard other reports that there will be many visible all night. It will most certainly have an effect on our imaging of the night sky, but at this point it’s hard to say how much of an impact. There are already thousands of satellites and debris in orbit that while annoying, don’t have a drastic impact. If we triple that number it’s still not going to ruin the night sky. I think many of the articles out right now are fear-mongering click bait, but it’s certainly something we should be thinking of.

I’m with you. And from a practical standpoint, I’m always amazed at the clear unblemished skies I see posted here and elsewhere. Yet I don’t recall taking many photos in the Southwest that didn’t show contrails. Huh… Unlucky me I guess. :wink:

Not that I’d ever accuse anyone of removing contrails without remark, but I’m betting that even with triple satellites we won’t see many streaks in night sky photos. :laughing:

Well, let me see here.
Free internet for the world or use the clone tool a little bit during post.
Seems like a no-brainer, I would love to be able to use my phone apps in the middle of nowhere. If that’s the case, everybody will be out there too!!! What a quandry i’m in, do i teach workshops and contribute to the overuse issue, do i post my photos online, again, contributing to the problem of location lust. What to do, What to do. The more I learn and connect with the landscape community the more I doubt my and others objectives and motives for being a LS photographer.
I doubt it will even be an issue.

Iridium flares, which we all have been living with since 1992, will be going away. It seems that the new ones won’t make those cool false meteor streaks.