SpaceX is studying a series of changes to its Starlink satellites, in order to minimize the impact of these devices on astronomical observations.
This project by Elon Musk's space systems company consists of a satellite "constellation" of about 42,000 satellites that will be placed in orbit to bring high-speed Internet to all corners of the world.
After the launch of the first batches of satellites, the SpaceX initiative received a shower of criticism from several astronomers, who claim that these devices are "polluting" the skies, making astronomical observations difficult.
Now SpaceX is working on a "DarkSat", which will be a kind of "dark mode" and will cause the reflectivity of the satellites to be reduced by almost half. In addition to the reflectivity of the satellites, Space X is also studying changes in the way these artificial bodies orbit, details the portal Universe Today.
The changes were announced during a presentation by Astro2020 (Decadal Survey on Astronomy and Astrophysics 2020), an event organized by the United States National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.
As the Spanish news agency Europa Press explains, the major problem with these satellites, which orbit the Earth, is related to the fact that they periodically capture and reflect sunlight, especially when they leave the Earth's shadow and enter the light directly. solar – what occurs during the “orbit elevation” phase.
It is precisely at this point that satellites activate their propellants to increase their altitude each week, in order to ensure that they do not suffer an orbital decay.
The Starlink project, it is recalled, is deployed at 550 kilometers of altitude, an orbit considered really low. So far, SpaceX has launched 422 satellites.