Episode 87 - Half a Million Satellites

From the first faint signals from Sputnik in 1957 to an estimated half a million satellites orbiting the earth in 2030 – yeah, we were shocked too! The effects on earth based astronomy could be devastating. And then there are all the things that can go wrong, like collisions and the build up of aluminum and other particles in the high atmosphere from burned-up satellites. On the bright side, there is growing cooperation from satellite companies, in mitigating the reflective properties of satellites. Dr Tregloan-Reed completed his Ph.D. in astronomy at the University of Keele, Staffordshire, UK and then went on to a two year postdoctoral research fellowship at NASA Ames Research center, California USA. In 2018, Dr Tregloan-Reed relocated to Northern Chile and his primary research is in exoplanets, specializing in exoplanets which orbit active host stars, to better understand how stellar activity can impact our ability to detect and characterize exoplanetary systems. Since the start of 2020 and after the launch of Darksat, SpaceX’s first attempt to dim their satellites, Dr Tregloan-Reed has been leading an international network of telescopes in performing brightness measurements of satellite constellations such as Starlink, OneWeb, and Amazon Kuiper. This survey is collecting data to allow astronomers to develop mitigation software and to ascertain the impact of satellite constellations to the quality of the night sky and Astronomy.

Connect with Dr. Tregloan-Reed: Universidad de Atacama https://inct.uda.cl/ IAU CPS https://cps.iau.org/ The Chilean Skies Foundation https://cieloschile.cl/ https://twitter.com/Tregloan_Reed Bluesky: @astro-jay.bsky.social