Norman Marigza


John Green once said “the darkest nights produce the brightest stars.” This is something that the astronomical community understand all too well as observations require clear dark skies to be able to make out the faintest details. For years the community has dealt with the problem of light pollution resulting from excessive lighting and improperly directed light fixtures. This is a problem that affects not only the astronomy community but multiple other aspects such as the environment and human health.


Aside from light pollution our dark skies maybe threatened by an additional problem. Recently there has been concern over the growing number of satellites being deployed into space. While performing many different important functions for our tech driven society, the sheer number of satellites being planned for deployment are bound to overwhelm the night sky. Currently we can see a number of satellites passing the night sky at any given night, and also capture them in our detectors while taking data or doing observations.


The International Astronomical Union, the International Dark-Sky Association, and various astronomical groups have expressed concerns on the negative impacts of satellite constellations to astronomical investigations – particularly in the radio and optical wavelengths. Dark and radio quiet skies are a necessity to advance our understanding of the Universe. Discussions have also taken place with SpaceX with regards to their Starlink satellites. Currently SpaceX are looking into engineering solutions to minimize the brightness of their satellites. They are currently trying out an experimental coating to try and minimize the reflectivity of the satellites and test how it affects its performance.


As we celebrate the International Dark Sky Week this April 19-26, we are launching a global campaign to engage people in the discussion of the impacts of satellite constellations and how they affect astronomical observation and research, as well as tackle possible engineering solutions to minimize the problem. We encourage everyone to share with the world their stories and images (such as satellite trails) on how satellites have affected our view of the night sky.


Norman Marigza
AWB National Coordinator for the Philippines
IAU Dark Sky Ambassador



Additional Info:

1. International Astronomical Union public theme on Satellite Constellations

2. International Dark-Sky Association : Why do “Mega-constellations” Matter to the Dark Sky Community

3. Feedback from SpaceX regarding Starlink Satellites


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    About Me

    Astronomer, Physicist, & STEM Educator AWB National Coordinator for the Philippines Co-Founder of Manila Street Astronomers Founder of Guild for Astronomy Innovation and Advancement Adviser of the Philippine Union of Student Organizations for Astronomy Founder of Solar Observation Program of Rizal Technological University


    Location:Quezon City, NCR
    Philippines (the)
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