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April 2022

Science And Society: Starlink

For several years now, I have met the “science and society” general education learning goal with a unit on climate change.  This year, SpaceX gave me another option, with the latest installment of the planned 42,000 satellite constellation known as Starlink.  I had strong feelings when 40 satellites were destroyed at launch by a solar storm, and I shared those feelings with students.  We had the opportunity for a free-ranging discussion in class about the tension between technological advances and preserving the resources we hold in common.

There were many articles, but here’s one:

A few other resources that might be useful:

The Starlink Situation   (last update 3/2020)

Starlink and the Astronomers (an update from 4/2020)

How do Starlink Satellites Work?

It also affects radio astronomy 

A web search for “starlink astronomy images” tends to yield images taken shortly after launch, with a large number of satellite tracks from the latest batch.

About the cost of Starlink internet (the article includes both premium and standard rates)

IAU’s stance