SpaceX Starlink satellites have astronomers amplifying the cosmic alarm

Sci-Tech Elon Musk Space SpaceX 23 Photos This image of a distant galaxy group from Arizona’s Lowell Observatory is marred by diagonal lines from the trails of Starlink satellites shortly after their launch in May. Victoria Girgis/Lowell Observatory The world’s largest organization of professional astronomers is sounding the galactic alarm over Elon Musk’s plan to send a swarm of SpaceX satellites into low-Earth orbit. Almost immediately after a Falcon 9 rocket released the first batch of the company’s Starlink broadband internet satellites last month, stargazers were dismayed by just how bright and noticeable the train of orbiting routers is in the night sky. Now the concern has moved from chatter on social media to a more formal call for new government regulation from the International Astronomical Union. In a statement Monday, the IAU said large satellite constellations like Starlink could have unforeseen consequences for advancing our understanding of the universe and the protection of nocturnal wildlife. “We do not yet understand the impact of thousands of these visible satellites scattered across the night sky and despite their good intentions, these satellite constellations may threaten both,” the statement reads. The IAU shared the above image, which shows bars of light from Starlink satellite trails in the field of view captured by Arizona’s Lowell Observatory. The trails obscure the view of galaxy group NGC 5353/4.  Comments Every Elon Musk project right now Tags There are already 4900 satellites in orbit, which people notice ~0% of the time. Starlink won’t be seen by anyone unless looking very carefully & will have ~0% impact on advancements in astronomy. We need to move telelscopes to orbit anyway. Atmospheric attenuation is terrible. pic.twitter.com/OuWYfNmw0D— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 27, 2019 8 Originally published June 4.  “Although this image serves as an illustration of the impact of reflections from satellite constellations, please note that the density of these satellites is significantly higher in the days after launch,” the organization explained. A SpaceX spokesperson added via email that “the observability of the Starlink satellites is dramatically reduced as they raise orbit to greater distance and orient themselves with the phased array antennas toward Earth and their solar arrays behind the body of the satellite.” Nonetheless, should SpaceX deploy all the Starlink satellites it is permitted for, it would more than double the amount of satellites currently orbiting Earth, with some being granted permission to orbit at even lower orbits than originally conceived. The IAU, which represents over 13,000 astronomers, called for satellite constellation operators and astronomers to work together more closely and urged “appropriate agencies to devise a regulatory framework to mitigate or eliminate the detrimental impacts on scientific exploration as soon as practical.” Are SpaceX Starlink satellites ruining the night sky? For its part, SpaceX has already been coordinating with the US National Science Foundation, which oversees the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. “After working closely with SpaceX, NSF has finalized a coordination agreement to ensure the company’s Starlink satellite network plans will meet international radio astronomy protection standards, limiting interference in this radio astronomy band,” the NSF said in a statement Tuesday. Elon Musk also hinted at a possible long-term solution on Twitter: “We need to move telelscopes (sic) to orbit anyway.” 2:57 Now playing: Watch this: Share your voice read more

26 killed at Iraq wedding celebration Police

first_imgTwo suicide bombers attacked a celebration being held the night before a wedding north of Baghdad, killing 26 people, a police officer and a doctor said on Thursday.The bombings in the Al-Hajaj area, north of the city of Tikrit, also wounded 25 people, the sources said.”The first blew himself up at 8:30 pm (1730 GMT on Wednesday) amid men who were dancing during the celebration,” while the second attacked a few minutes later, a police lieutenant colonel said.The bombers detonated explosive belts, the officer said.A doctor at a local hospital confirmed the toll.There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but the Islamic State jihadist group carries out frequent suicide bombings targeting both civilians and members of the security forces in Iraq.IS overran large areas north and west of Baghdad, including swathes of Salaheddin province, where Wednesday’s attack occurred, but Iraqi forces backed by US-led air strikes and other support have since regained most of the territory they lost.Iraqi forces are now fighting to retake west Mosul, the largest urban bastion still held by the jihadists in Iraq.But recapturing Mosul and the other remaining parts of the country still held by IS will not eliminate its threat, and the group may increasingly turn to bombinlast_img read more

Critical Roles Vox Machina DD Animation Project Breaks Kickstarter Record

first_imgOn Wednesday, Critical Role announced that it plans to produce “The Legend of Vox Machina” as a series of four 22-minute episodes. (It originally was envisioned as a single 22-minute special.) Set in the show’s fantasy world of Exandria, the first two installments of the series will be an all-new story about the seven-member Vox Machina team at D&D Level 7 on their first “grown-up” mission, which occurs prior to Critical Role’s first RPG show. The next two episodes pick up the Briarwoods storyline, in which the Vox Machina crew avenge the murder of the rulers of the town of Whitestone and most of their offspring by the evil Lord and Lady Briarwood.With the Kickstarter having topped $5.75 million, Critical Role plans to produce two additional 22-minute episodes on the Briarwoods arc. CR has added additional rewards to backers, and says it will continue to expand content production plans if the campaign hits higher funding levels. At $7.5 million, Critical Role said it will produce two more Briarwoods episodes.Critical Role originally launched in 2015 in partnership with Legendary Digital Networks’ Geek & Sundry; Critical Role last month parted ways with Legendary and now distributes its shows on Twitch and YouTube.“Now this has been highly requested and believe me, for five years it’s been our dream to tell these stories in animation,” Matthew Mercer, who serves as the group’s Dungeon Master, says in the video on the group’s Kickstarter page.For the animated series, Critical Role is teaming with animation studio Titmouse for “The Legend of Vox Machina.” Writer Jennifer Muro (“Justice League Action,” “Star Wars Forces of Destiny”) has signed on to script the special.“The Legend of Vox Machina” is slated for fall 2020 release. Critical Role says it hasn’t settled on a distribution plan right now but is promising Kickstarter backers that they’ll be the first to get access to it. Rewards to backers are slated to begin shipping in May 2020.The Critical Role cast members and their “Vox Machina” characters are Travis Willingham (Grog), Marisha Ray (Keyleth), Taliesin Jaffe (Percy), Ashley Johnson (Pike), Sam Riegel (Scanlan), Liam O’Brien (Vax) and Laura Bailey (Vex), with Matthew Mercer serving as Dungeon Master. Fans of Critical Role — known as “Critters” — have inspired to the team to release books and comic books, stage live events and now an animated series based on the franchise. According to Critical Role, its original proposed budget of $750,000 for a half-hour special was more than any media company they approached was willing to bite on.Rewards dangled to Kickstarter backers of the “Vox Machina” project include downloads of the “Your Turn to Roll” theme song, production art prints, a dice set, playing cards, stickers, character pins, and a plushy of Trinket the bear. Contributors who give $1,000 or more are invited to a private screening of “The Legend of Vox Machina.” Popular on Variety Critical Role’s ardent fans have broken the Kickstarter record for the most-funded TV or film project ever, pledging over $5.79 million — in under four days — for the production of what has morphed into an animated series about a band of Dungeons & Dragons adventurers. And the campaign is set to run for another 42 days.The team behind the popular live D&D role-playing show launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign on Monday to create an animated special, “The Legend of Vox Machina,” based on Critical Role’s first campaign. It hit its original $750,000 goal in less than an hour.Now the “Vox Machina” campaign — at $5.79 million from 42,232 backers as of Thursday at 4:10 a.m. PT — has exceeded Kickstarter’s previous record-holder: Joel Hodgson’s effort to revive “Mystery Science Theater 3000” in late 2015. The “MST3K” campaign closed out with a total of $5.76 million raised and led to Netflix picking up the show. ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15last_img read more