A CALL TO INTERNET SATELLITE CONSTELLATIONS COMPANIES TO PREVENT THE POLLUTION OF OUR NIGHT SKIES AND A PLEA FOR COLLABORATION WITH ASTRONOMERS
- All the Internet satellite constellations companies, and their respective CEO’s
The night skies have always been a part of our lives. Thanks to the night sky our ancestors were able to design accurate calendars to help them secure bountiful agricultural yields by being able to determine peak crop harvest times. Navigation was also vastly improved by the use of stars as points of reference. In short, clear night skies have contributed immensely to our well-being as a civilization.
Since the onset of the industrial revolution in the 19th century the proliferation of light pollution has been detrimental by greatly reducing our access to dark skies. Several groups, and clubs of stargazing individuals have expressed their concern and tried to curb excessive light pollution in order to preserve the beauty of the night sky.
As parents we are concerned for the future of our children and feel the need to protect astronomical observation without interference from low Earth orbit objects. We owe it to them.
This is no easy task, but considering the numerous future launches being planned, our efforts are of upmost importance to astronomers and citizens alike.
We all agree that satellite internet could bring about very important benefits to our society as a whole and can be especially important in developing countries providing them with low cost internet connections. Nevertheless, we also realize the negative consequences, and how it could adversely affect future astronomical research and development.
It is our goal to support the benefits of science by encouraging the development of new technologies without jeopardizing our own windows of research. It is for this reason that we ask for your support.
Some powerful companies are starting to launch large constellations of internet satellites into low Earth orbit. Their presence and their design pose a threat to both visual and radio astronomy, astrophotography and to astronomical sciences in general.
We conclude with a quote from the International Astronomical Union (IAU) from a June 3rd, 2019 statement:
"Satellite constellations can pose a significant or debilitating threat to important existing and future astronomical infrastructures and we urge their designers and deployers as well as policy-makers to work with the astronomical community in a concerted effort to analyze and understand the impact of satellite constellations. We also urge appropriate agencies to devise a regulatory framework to mitigate or eliminate the detrimental impacts on scientific exploration as soon as practical."
We can work together to find a better solution. We have decided to start a petition directed towards all companies working in this field.
We will send the final signature list to Space X CEO Elon Musk, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and others for their consideration.
Spanish version (para leer la version en español favor de usar este enlace):
WE, THE UNDERSIGNED, call on all internet satellite constellations planned by OneWeb, SpaceX, Amazon, Samsung, Boeing, Hongyun and others with similar objectives to reduce the satellite's amount of visual and photographic albedo, reduce the interference of astronomical observations and call for the designs of radiofrequency equipment to be protective of astronomical radio spectrums. We also strongly encourage these companies to call on us astronomers for feedback in order to accomplish this important task.
The A CALL TO INTERNET SATELLITE CONSTELLATIONS COMPANIES TO PREVENT THE POLLUTION OF OUR NIGHT SKIES AND A PLEA FOR COLLABORATION WITH ASTRONOMERS petition to All the Internet satellite constellations companies, and their respective CEO’s was written by InterGalactic Astronomy Educators Fellowship and is in the category Science & Technology at GoPetition.