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Starlink’s DarkSat

Space based internet services is ready to bring the revolution in the internet and its high speed connectivity to the innumerable communities worldwide. There are many revolutionary advancements in technology and similar to that there is a dark side to Starlink.
Hundreds and thousands of satellites of the constellation reflect their light back to the earth affecting the darkness of celestial sphere similar to the professional astronomers and stargazers. Astronomers captures the images interrupted by the bright streaks from the satellites that are passing through their fields of observation. To avoid this, apply dark coating on the reflective antennae of the ground facing satellites. And to test the effectiveness of the coating SpaceX has launched the prototype of DarkSat on January 2020. In December 2020 National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) have shown the detailed readings of effectiveness of DarkSat.
Dr. Takashi Horiuchi an astronomer from Ishigakijima Astronomical Observatory who spends most of his time in observing brown dwarfs that are billions of light years away states that the study of reflectivity of DarkSat was divided on the basis of different wavelengths. DarkSat appears to half of the as bright as uncoated Starlink satellites of electromagnetic spectrum. With the help of coating it reduces the magnitude down to 7 which automatically lower the brightness of any object in the sky. Dr. Horiuchi says that DarkSat has a magnitude of 7 and the typical quasar has a magnitude of 18. According to magnitude scale the higher the magnitude number the dimmer the object becomes. A quasar of magnitude 18 is 23000 times fainter than a DarkSat of magnitude 7.

Dr. Horiuchi also explained that the light energy is converted to heat which was absorbed by the heat. All the measurable objects in DarkSat radiate in the infrared as it gets warmed by its coating when compared to Starlink satellite. DarkSat is brighter than the Starlink as it radiates more infrared.

DarkSat was developed to succeed the Starlink satellite but unfortunately their astronomical observation has weakness at its best. And to cope up with these weaknesses SpaceX has designed VisorSats that uses the panels.