Amazon Project Kuiper Satellites Contribute to Concerns of Light Pollution for Astronomers

Amazon has recently been granted permission from the Federal Communications Commission to deploy a fleet of 3,236 satellites as a part of its Project Kuiper program.

Oct 8, 2023 - 22:57
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Amazon Project Kuiper Satellites Contribute to Concerns of Light Pollution for Astronomers

Amazon has recently been granted permission from the Federal Communications Commission to deploy a fleet of 3,236 satellites as a part of its Project Kuiper program. Known as Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites, this network is designed to provide high-speed internet to underserved areas around the world. However, the introduction of these satellites has caused some concern among astronomers, as they are worried about the potential light pollution these satellites can cause.

Light pollution is a growing problem for astronomers, as the Hubble space telescope and other ground-based observatories can be hindered from capturing accurate data due to the bright lights from cities and other sources. With the addition of thousands of satellites being launched into space, the effects of light pollution could be even more prominent, potentially obstructing views of the night sky.

While these satellites will not be emitting an overly bright light, those in the scientific community fear that the accumulation of light from the satellites could add up and create an issue for astronomers. Amazon has already taken a step to address this issue, as the company is making an effort to develop special coatings for its satellites that will help to reduce the amount of light they reflect.

However, some astronomers remain skeptical about Amazon‘s efforts, noting that 3,236 satellites is an excessive number and that the effect on light pollution could be significant. Amazon has assured the scientific community that it is committed to ensuring minimal light pollution caused by its satellites. Only time will tell if the company is able to successfully resolve this issue.