Astronomical Society of Edinburgh-Losing the Sky

Astronomical Society of Edinburgh

Live public discussion with Andy Lawrence, Brian Eno, Catherine Heymans, Mark McCaughrean from ESA, Amy Mehlman from Viasat, and many others. Read Andy Lawrence’s book about this subject: “Losing the Sky”.…

Thousands of satellites are now being launched into Low Earth Orbit in “mega-constellations” to give us high speed internet from space, with the prospect of tens of thousands more, as competition heats up. But many astronomers are furious, as the satellites streak brightly across their images, and space experts are worried that we are headed towards unsustainable overcrowding. Are we selling off space? Polluting our last wilderness? Losing our right to see the stars? Opening the door to adverts in the sky? Or are these things a reasonable price to pay to connect up the world to the internet, at the fastest possible speeds? Discussion so far has been highly technical, in scientific and business meetings. This live public discussion brings together experts from across the globe to demystify the issues and debate the options, following on from the issues explored in the popular book “Losing The Sky” by Professor Andy Lawrence. Astronomical Science: Why are astronomers worried? Connecting the world: Why are space companies building huge constellations? Environment and culture: What is our right to the sky? Should we care? Space Junk: Does the growth of space debris really threaten everybody’s use of space? Space Law: Who has the say on who is allowed to do what, and should it change? Where do we go from here? More information about the event:…

Image/clip credits: P.Marenfeld/NOIRlab; European Space Agency; Gemini Observatory; Craig Brownhill; Oliver Staiger; Rafael Schmall; NASA/STScI; Stuart Atkinson. Video made by Written in Film.

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