CNET's Elon Musk wants SpaceX to launch the next generation of space telescopes says:

The billionaire entrepreneur said that "VisorSat" satellites equipped with a sunshade to block reflections from the sun are a potential fix. The glint makes the satellites bright enough to see from Earth and has marred some astronomical observations over the past year. Musk said the next launch of Starlink satellites should be equipped with the dimming devices.

"We will take further steps as needed," Musk assured the audience of scientists, adding that the fix is "quite simple" and "we'll feel a bit silly in hindsight."

Considering answers to Did nobody in the Astronomy community think 12,000 new satellites in LEO might be a problem? I think they should have started feeling a bit silly in hindsight a little earlier, but that's a different topic.

Question: How did SpaceX's VisorSat work? How did a sunshade articulate to shade parts of Starlink satellite as it orbits the Earth?

Highly relevant (and currently unanswered): What attitudes will Starlink satellites have in different orbits?

  • $\begingroup$ at the end of the article "He joked that he was motivated by his desire to find out whether our universe is really just a computer simulation. 'If we can at least try to image some planets... they'll have to make the rendering better.'" Considering that Musk will "scorch the sky" with Starlinks and is now selling astronomers transport for telescopes above it... $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Apr 27 '20 at 23:58
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ ...perhaps he also plans to sell Tesla computers (also FSD Chip - Tesla) to "them" to improve their simulation? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Apr 28 '20 at 0:01
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ skyandtelescope.org/astronomy-news/… $\endgroup$
    – amI
    Jul 4 '20 at 8:29
  • $\begingroup$ @amI thanks! I've had three bounties on What attitudes will Starlink satellites have in different orbits? without success, but it looks like a reasonably good answer to it can be posted now based on your link (hint hint) ;-) $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Jul 4 '20 at 8:58
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I can't take the hint, but I hope someone can explain the geometry of tilting the solar panel to reduce air drag while still aiming the hall thruster for orbit raising. The 'spring loaded' visors shield the flat antennae, which I had compared to Rigel (diffuse) and Venus (specular). $\endgroup$
    – amI
    Jul 4 '20 at 9:14

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.