Many astronomers and space hobbyists have complained the satellites are too shiny as they reflect the sun’s light, making them visible to even just the naked eye.
Those reflections were in full view this week as astronomer Julien Girard from the Space Telescope Science Institute showed in a photograph posted to his Twitter account.
The photograph, which was a series of time lapse images, shows how the Starlink satellites “completely photobombed” the comet.
17 30-second images of the comet added up by @cielodecanarias, completely photobombed by @elonmusk's #Starlink satellites. It's a few hundreds of them right now,there will be a few thousands in the near future. @SpaceX is committed to coating orienting them better but still…. pic.twitter.com/TYtTf5xwhc
— Julien Girard (@djulik) July 22, 2020
Elon Musk and SpaceX have already taken the criticism to heart by installing new sun shades on the latest batch of satellites sent into space. It is hoped these will prevent the sun’s rays from hitting the reflective parts of the satellites.
SpaceX also claims they will become less visible as they’re still climbing into orbit for several months after launch. Even so, they will still be at a much lower altitude, around 550km, compared to traditional satellites that orbit at between 20,000km to 36,000km high.
The Starlink satellite internet service is expected to begin beta testing soon, with many Canadian being likely candidates as testers. Details of the beta program and Starlink service were also recently revealed in a leak.