Why is every fucking billionaire suddenly obsessed with putting thousands of satellites into orbit? Do they just really love cluttering up the night sky, or what?

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For real though, this is basically a bunch of white people trying to colonise the night sky. They're arguing it's internet infrastructure? A bunch of white people bringing their vision of civilisation to people in those poor countries sounds awfully familiar...

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Also, random concern of mine, a bunch of tech bros have built software to keep those musky satellites flying in regular formation. They're designed so they can have their orbital position adjusted to keep them moving "in formation".

I genuinely wonder how long it's going to be until someone figures out how to make their thousands of satellites spell out COCA COLA in the night sky.

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@InvaderXan Yes, and they are super fucking up ground-based data acquisition in Astro. Iโ€™ve had several colleagues have spectra or photometry absolutely ruined.

@deneb Yeah. Astronomy twitter has been full of people for years saying "look, please stop doing this crap, you're messing up a lot of stuff" and obviously Musk was all "ohhh but I'm sooooo smart I'm doing stuff that's soooo gooood everyone shall love me". Then the astronomers end up getting mobbed by Musk fanboys who are convinced that they're experts or something.

And now Bezos is joining the douchebag party ๐Ÿ™„

@InvaderXan AAS is trying to lobby for some sort of regulation on satellite placement. The only good thing I can see coming out of this is perhaps us getting more low-cost space based telescopes eventually. I would absolutely love that. The current competition for space observations is ridiculous. (I work mostly with UV spectra.)

@deneb Wow, yeah, you don't have a lot of options with UV. Must be tough to work with. Space telescopes are still a step backwards in a way though. We're definitely not going to get a 40m class one anytime soon!

@InvaderXan Thankfully archiving is tops, so there's lots of data to pour over when I'm not lucky with proposals. I'm very excited at the prospect of LUVOIR, which is a concept in development. Take a look if you get a chance, it looks AWESOME.

@InvaderXan the flip side of attack & dethrone god - fill heaven with techbro bs


They wanna feel special with their own junk in the sky, totally ruining the astrophysics world. ๐Ÿ˜

@blondtradgard Ugh. I hate that overgrown children with more money than morals get to use the actual night sky as their personal playground ๐Ÿ˜’

I always hope for a huge solar flare to fry all that stuff at once.

@nino @malerbabomba @blondtradgard Not necessarily. A lot of stuff on the ground is shielded these days. It won't be like the 1800s when telegraph poles caught on fire. That said, it would mess up a lot of stuff.

Better to hack the system and tell all the satellites to de-orbit making them all immediately burn up in the atmosphere. Which, in theory, is a thing you could actually do.


@InvaderXan one of those 90s white crusty dog poos

@InvaderXan Did I hear FB and similar wanted giant sky billboards made from satellites or drones? or was that a fever nightmare...

@FrazzledBrynn I wouldn't be surprised. After all these are the people who look at cyberpunk's grim warnings about how awful a capitalist future would be and think "cool, let's make that in the real world" ๐Ÿ˜ซ

@InvaderXan @FrazzledBrynn I stopped being surprised at tech's failure to understand the lessons of fiction when someone released an actual goddamn product called "Soylent".

@InvaderXan @noelle @FrazzledBrynn not billboards *yet* but yeah illuminated drone formation happened already itโ€™s cute when itโ€™s basically just ยซ smart fireworks ยป but just wait... ๐Ÿค”

@FrazzledBrynn @InvaderXan people have thought about it but fortunately that's not how orbits work, they'd have to constantly keep using up fuel to maintain positions if they want to make a logo/word and it wouldn't be worth the money to do it for more than like a day to say they did

@InvaderXan only saving grace is they're all going to fall out of the sky after 5 years due to orbital decay and by then Musk will be distracted by a new shiny object.

We'll just have to worry about 12k hunks of slag hitting us out of nowhere if they don't burn up in the atmosphere. It'll be like Dead Like Me, only all over the world.

@bluestarultor Nah, they're small. They'll be ash long before they hit the ground. I'm just hoping that happens sooner than they expect.

@InvaderXan I can hope. I can tolerate a lot, but stealing the night sky is war. I spent my childhood looking up and remembering all the Greek and Roman mythology my mom read to me.

The stars have always been important to me. I got my mom the Big and Little Dipper earrings for Mother's Day before ThinkGeek stopped being a thing and it's one of her favorite pieces because of the meaning it has to both of us.

If I could fly I'd grab every last one of them and throw them at him.

@InvaderXan makes me wonder just how much station keeping fuel they have

@InvaderXan This is very literally the exact discussion that got me into physics when I was 11 or 12, with my cousin who was doing PhD research at Princeton in astrophysics. He came to visit us in WV, and we sat outside that night watching the stars and talking about this. It was just theoretical and kinda funny then, but omg so very real and terrifying now.

Infrastructure has always been the colonizer argument for expropriation. Fabricate the concept of intellectual property, exempt infrastructure, steal what you want to build on, and collect enough rent to keep it by force - land, labor, language, culture. It's a consistent application of injustice from the blatant and grievous to the subtle and petty

@InvaderXan "We need to replace the stars in the night sky for the inevitable heat death of the universe!"

-Kyubey, if they were a billionaire instead of a magic alien cat

@InvaderXan Saw a meteor last night, was hoping for it to be Musk equipment.

@InvaderXan no, asteroid mining will probably make the world's first trillionaire and they all want that to be them

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