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SpaceX的“暗卫星”对天文学家来说还是太亮了

SpaceX’s Dark Satellites Are Still Too Bright for Astronomers

Starlink, a “megaconstellation” of hundreds of Internet satellites launched by the aerospace company SpaceX, has been causing headaches for astronomers by outshining celestial objects. Set to eventually include tens of thousands of spacecraft beaming high-speed Internet to the entire planet, Starlink has a downside for stargazing: the satellites reflect enough sunlight at night to be seen clearly with the naked eye (not to mention sensitive telescopes). Their brightness is only accentuated by the long trains they are arranged in, which pass across the heavens like dozens of glowing beads on a celestial string.

航天公司SpaceX发射的由数百颗互联网卫星组成的“巨型星座”Starlink一直因使其它天体黯然失色而令天文学家头疼。“星链”最终将包括数以万计的航天器,向全球提供高速互联网传输,星链对观星来说有一个缺点:卫星在夜间反射足够的阳光,可以用肉眼清晰地看到(更不用说灵敏的望远镜了)。它们的亮度因它们排列成一队而显得更加明亮,像一根天弦上的几十颗发光的珠子一样穿过天空。

Ever since the first 60 Starlink satellites were launched in May 2019, 655 more have been placed in orbit, affecting a number of astronomical observations.Each launch has steadily held around 60 satellites, with one or two batches going up each month since January—the last did so on September 3.

自2019年5月首批60颗“星链”卫星发射以来,又有655颗卫星被送入轨道,影响了多项天文观测。每一次发射都稳定地容纳了大约60颗卫星,自去年1月以来每个月都有一到两批卫星在发射,上一次发射是在9月3日(截至2020年9月10日)。

Finally, in August—after more than a year of complaints from the scientific community and damage-control efforts from SpaceX—the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the American Astronomical Society (AAS) released a report on the situation. It drew from discussions among more than 250 experts at the virtual Satellite Constellations 1 (SATCON1) workshop earlier this summer toprovide recommendations for both astronomers and satellite constellation operators in order to minimize further disruptions.

最终,在经历了一年多的科学界投诉和SpaceX为控制损害做出努力之后,美国国家科学基金会(NSF)和美国天文学会(AAS)于8月发布了相关情况的报告。它借鉴了今年夏天初虚拟卫星集群1(SATCON1)研讨会上250多位专家的讨论,旨在为天文学家和卫星集群运营商提供建议,以最大程度地减少进一步的干扰。

Read more at Scientific American

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