Starlink, the satellite branch of Elon Musk's SpaceX company, has been under fire from astronomers in recent months because of concerns about the negative effects of its planned satellite clusters on night observation.
Released monthly by the International Astronomical Union (IAU), the satellite clusters will affect the ability of telescopes to look deep into space, the number of hours that can be observed, and the quality of images taken by observatories.
It's about high stakes. Projects like Starlink may be central to the future of global internet coverage, especially as new infrastructures implement 5G and edge computing. At the same time, satellite clusters ̵
Musk himself reacted inconsistently. On some days, he promises to work with scientists to solve the problem. For others, like two weeks ago at the Satellite 2020 conference, he declared "confident that we will have no effect on astronomical discoveries".
Critics have pointed with their fingers in many directions to a solution to the problem. Some astronomers are demanding that space companies like Musk take care of the interests of science (Amazon and Facebook have also developed satellite projects similar to those of SpaceX) . Others call on national or international governing bodies to take and create measures to deal with the problem. But there is another sphere that could offer a solution: startups that want to develop “intelligent telescopes” that can compensate for cluster interference.
If they keep their promise, intelligent telescopes and shutter units save time and money by protecting images that are incredibly complicated to create.