Satellite Constellations 1 Workshop Report
In May 2019 SpaceX launched its first batch of 60 Starlink communication satellites, which surprised astronomers and laypeople with their appearance in the night sky. Astronomers have only now, a little over a year later, accumulated enough observations of constellation satellites like those being launched by SpaceX and OneWeb, and run computer simulations of their likely impact when fully deployed, to thoroughly understand the magnitude and complexity of the problem. This research informed the discussion at the Satellite Constellations 1 (SATCON1) workshop held virtually 29 June to 2 July 2020 and led to recommendations for observatories and constellation operators. The SATCON1 report concludes that the effects on astronomical research and on the human experience of the night sky range from “negligible” to “extreme.”
Report cover illustration (not to scale) courtesy NOIRLab / NSF / AURA / P. Marenfeld; high-resolution version available (1.6 MB PNG).