Technology

BlueWalker 3 mobile phone megasatellite angers astronomers: It shines brighter than almost any star

AST Spacemobile’s BlueWalker 3 satellite is a massive space object that provides mobile phone coverage from space, yet it dwarfs the night sky except for the Moon because it shines brighter than any star and prevents astronomical observations in visible light,

Since BlueWalker 3 emits radio signals, unfortunately, it also Presents Drawbacks to Radio Astronomy, Likewise, its antenna and solar panels reflect sunlight at night, which is capable of ruining the images of terrestrial telescopes and it produces annoying noise in the environment.

AST Spacemobile wants to launch hundreds of satellites bigger than Bluewalker 3 by the end of 2024. Many of them will reflect sunlight back to Earth, add to the current Starlink constellation, and close the connectivity gap.

Companies have to find a way to avoid the wrath of astronomers reduce its effect on the night sky without ceasing to offer access to the Internet and mobile telephony.



Does BlueWalker 3 cause more problems?

Although satellites provide connectivity, it is true that they are A source of pollution that blinds the vision of the universe, One option to remedy the situation is to build terrestrial infrastructures that provide similar services and are more resilient than satellites.

On the other hand, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of the United States has proposed a maximum period of five years to eliminate defunct satellites in space. The initiative is mandatory for space companies, however, satellites already in space will be exempted from the new guidelines.

The measure comes from concerns that officials retain large amounts of space debris, therefore, When the AST Spacemobile’s satellites are no longer operational, they will be retired from space.

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