How to prevent artificial satellites from turning off at night

How to prevent artificial satellites from turning off at night

Image of the group of galaxies NGC 5353/4 made with a telescope at the Lowell Observatory in Arizona, USA. on May 25, 2019. The diagonal lines running through the image are trails of reflected light left by the Starlink satellites launched shortly before. Credit: Victoria Girgis / Lowell Observatory

When the billionaire

Elon musk

decided to stick his nose in space exploration, many thought it would bring prosperity to science. That new possibilities for research would open up and that a new space age was approaching. The price? At that time we did not know him. We probably still don't know him completely. When money prostitutes science, it forgets its very essence.

The night sky is populated with tiny points of light originating hundreds, billions of years ago in remote parts of our universe. Only now do they reach our planet after traveling through the immense cosmic void. For this reason, they have been the object of desire, admiration and even adoration in the history of humanity. Entire towns have looked at the celestial vault with different objectives. Monuments, temples and sculptures were oriented for astronomical reasons in antiquity.

The history of navigation is actually a history of observing the night sky and our contemporary life is riddled with astronomical allusions. This study is not only a show in motion, but a confirmation of our cosmic insignificance. This has implications in basic and applied science, but also in ethical, moral, and philosophical issues that ultimately govern our social behavior.

A simulation of how satellites will surround the planet

The study of the cosmos is carried out in Spain from facilities with ground-breaking technologies such as the Calar Alto Observatories (Almera) and the Roque de los Muchachos (La Palma). The facilities of the Very Large Telescope in Chile and the Mauna Kea Observatory in Hawaii have changed our conception of the universe and the origin of our own solar system.

There is still more. The near future of astronomical exploration has opted very strongly for ground observation with the development and projection of high-value installations such as the E-ELT (European Extremely Large Telescope) or the TMT (Thirty Meter Telescope).


satellite constellation, ironically called Starlink (stellar link, in english)

, was conceived by the company SpaceX and announced in 2015. The objective they sell and advertise is to provide broadband internet anywhere in the world.

Of course, it is not a free network.

The company plans to generate revenues of more than $ 30 billion in 2025.

 for the use of this network by citizens, who will pay their monthly fees like every neighbor's child.