Check here for a range of useful and helpful sites, reports, articles and research data.
Presentation made to the UN COPUOS – 58th Scientific and Technical Subcommittee Meeting 20 Apr 2021. Presentation Here URL: https://www.unoosa.org/documents/pdf/copuos/stsc/2021/tech-11E.pdf
Abstract: Large satellite constellations in low-Earth orbit seek to be the infrastructure for global broadband Internet and other telecommunication needs. We briefly review the impacts of satellite constellations on astronomy and show that the Internet service offered by these satellites will primarily target populations where it is unaffordable, not needed, or both. The harm done by tens to hundreds of thousands of low-Earth orbit satellites to astronomy, stargazers worldwide, and the environment is not acceptable. Report Here – URL: https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/2515-5172/abc48e
This is a good visual and interactive REAL-TIME map of the Earth that allows you to see just where various megaconstealltions are at the current time. It allows you to see and identify a satellite in its database, but it should be remembered that it doesn’t have ALL Low Earth Orbiting satellites in it’s database! This is not a resource affiliated in any way with SpaceX, Starlink, Tesla, Elon etc etc nor is it any official service. The data comes from public tracking data published at space-track.org. The calculations and visualization are best effort and you should not use it as authoritative. URL: https://satellitemap.space
Heavens Above Satellite Tracking Application (recommendation)
If you ever need to identify a light polluting orbiting object in the night sky, we recommend using this free application. URL: https://heavens-above.com/?lat=0&lng=0&loc=Unspecified&alt=0&tz=UCT
Royal Astronomical Society Letter on Satellite Light Pollution
Important Evidence: Scientists reported new research results today suggesting that artificial objects in orbit around the Earth are brightening night skies on our planet significantly more than previously understood. The research, accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters, finds that the number of objects orbiting Earth could elevate the overall brightness of the night sky by more than 10 percent above natural light levels across a large part of the planet. This would exceed a threshold that astronomers set over 40 years ago for considering a location “light polluted”. URL: https://ras.ac.uk/news-and-press/news/satellites-contribute-significant-light-pollution-night-skies – The new work appears in, “The proliferation of space objects is a rapidly increasing source of artificial night sky brightness“, M. Kocifaj, F. Kundracik, J. C. Barentine and S. Bar´a, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2021), in press (DOI: 10.1093/mnrasl/slab030).
Amicus Brief for US Court of Appeal
In the April 2021 FCC review, some parties, including another Space Company, Viasat, and an environmental organisation known as the Balance Group, argued that an environmental assessment should be carried out, under standard US NEPA regulations. The FCC declined to do this, arguing, amongst other things, that they had a categorical exclusion. Viasat and the Balance Group launched a legal appeal against the FCC decision. They also launched a “Stay Motion” to stop launches while the appeal was going ahead. The Stay Motion was rejected, but the original appeal expedited. I was asked to write a “Amicus Brief” – a kind of expert witness statement – which I did with the help of Meredith Rawls and Moriba Jah, and many more anonymous contributors. This was submitted on August 13th. It is a public document, so we provide it HERE for anybody who is interested. This is a quite exciting event, as rather than just arguing specifically about Starlink launches, it makes a very general case in a court of law that we should treat orbital space as part of the environment, a cause for which as some of you will know, Moriba Jah has been envangelising for some time.
Using Meteor Fireball Networks To Track More Frequent Re-entries: Using the example of a FALCON 9 Upper Stage Orbit Determination From Camera Video Recordings
Abstract: On February 16, 2021, an artificial object was recorded by the Spanish Meteor Network (SPMN) moving slowly over the Mediterranean. From the astrometric measurements, we identify this event as the reentry engine burn of a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle’s upper stage. To study this event in detail, we adapted the plane intersection method for near-straight meteoroid trajectories to analyze slow and curved orbits associated with artificial objects. To corroborate our results, we approximated the orbital elements for the upper stage using four pieces of ”debris” cataloged by the U.S. Government Combined Space Operations Center (CSpOC). Based on these calculations, we also estimated the possible deorbit hazard zone using the MSISE90 model atmosphere. We warn of the interference that these artificial bolides might have in fireball studies. In addition, given that artificial bolides will be probably more frequent in the future, we point out the new role that ground-based detection networks can play in the monitoring of potentially hazardous artificial objects in near-Earth space and determining the strewn field of artificial space debris – Free Paper