Welcome to the NEW AASLP Website!
BY Gary Hunt
I have been a life-long amateur astronomer and been avidly interested in ALL things space science and technology. Until I retired, I have worked for governments, intergovernmental satellite organisations and have many friends and colleagues in the industry. However, over the last five or so years, I have been alarmed to see the huge increase in visible, sometimes very bright satellites crossing the night sky.
Originally, this would just be a feature or a little excitement in the night sky. But it soon became patently evident that this was ‘intruding’ on astronomical observations and data collection. Now for an amateur performing astro-imaging to get a galaxy or a nebula this can just be a nuisance, but after speaking to some professional astronomers it was clear that this was interfering hugely on scientific observation and research.
The more I looked into the plans of commercial companies such as SpaceX and OneWeb it was obvious that within a few years that this increase would not just be stable, not only gradually increasing, but rising exponentially! To the point that projections of Low Earth Orbit satellites will exceed 100,000 by 2030… considering that in 2001 there were less than 2,000 satellites in space and most of those were in geosynchronous orbit (GEO) in the plane of the ecliptic which put them mostly out of sight of nearly all astronomers.
And so a few years ago I happened to chance upon a small Facebook Group that was also of like mind… so I joined this small group of ‘malcontents’!
Since then the Group has grown in numbers and in geographical distribution so that we can now say that we are truly globe-spanning in membership. A sizeable part of the membership are professional astronomers who bring a scientific standard and discipline to our movement.
So I am now asking you what you think about this apparent seizing of the global resource that is OUR night sky? Does it affect or concern you that someone is making money out of your resource… and without anything in return?
Maybe you are content? Well that is fine too! But I would ask you to examine the evidence and thoughts of our membership, look at our objections and ideals and then ask yourself, “am I happy with this, am I content for the night skies above me to being used without my consent and consultation? What about the impacts on astronomy and other scientific research… what about those ethnic and religious minority communities that feel that their sky belief system is being desecrated? If you feel you wish to join our cause, then do contact us or join our private Facebook Group? You will be most welcome!
Action Against Satellite Light Pollution Group