19 May 2020

Webinar on the Impacts of Satellite Constellations on OIR Astronomy

Kelsie Krafton

Kelsie Krafton Space Studies Board of the NAS

The AAS and the Satellite Industry Association (SIA) will host an informational webinar on the impacts of satellite constellations on ground-based optical and infrared astronomy. The 1-hour webinar is for astronomers, telescope operators, and observatories; companies and other organizations that manufacture, operate, and/or track artificial satellites; and advocates of dark night skies. It will take place on Tuesday, 26 May, at 3 pm EDT via Zoom.

Starlink Satellites in CCD Image
This November 2019 image is from the Dark Energy Camera on the Blanco 4-meter telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile. It shows the trails of 19 Starlink satellites that passed through the survey’s field of view during the six-minute exposure. Courtesy NSF’s NOIRLab / CTIO / AURA / DELVE

The webinar will include a panel of speakers including AAS President Megan Donahue (Michigan State University), Patrick Seitzer (University of Michigan), J. Anthony Tyson (University of California, Davis), and Patricia Cooper (SpaceX). The speakers will discuss the challenges posed to observatories by satellite constellations, how best to engage with all parties to find solutions, and the roles of the observatories and the private sector in mitigating impacts.

Webinar agenda:

  • Welcome from SIA
  • Introduction to and summary of the main topic by Megan Donahue, AAS President
  • Overview of impact models from the astronomical community by Pat Seitzer, representing the AAS Committee on Light Pollution, Radio Interference, and Space Debris
  • Collaboration with industry from the research community perspective by Tony Tyson, Chief Scientist for the Vera Rubin Observatory (formerly Large Synoptic Survey Telescope)
  • Patricia Cooper, Vice-President of SpaceX, operator of the Starlink satellite constellation, speaks to the company's experience collaborating with the astronomical community
  • Joel Parriott, AAS Deputy Executive Officer and Director of Public Policy, covers the larger astronomical community's efforts to form partnerships with industry and advertises an upcoming technical workshop on this topic
  • Q&A session moderated by SIA

Tuesday, 26 May 2020, 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm EDT
Webinar held via Zoom

Register for the Webinar

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