Rapidly Increasing Space Debris May Prevent Us from Finding Other Possible Civilizations

Despite its swift development, space exploration also brings a hefty challenge: Space debris. These are objects that were sent into orbit but no longer perform any useful purpose. The danger they pose is growing by the day; in fact, research shows there are more than 670 thousand pieces larger than 1 cm currently floating around! 

Astronomers are warning that the sky may become so congested with space debris and active satellites by 2030 that it could have a detrimental impact on future space research – even potentially hindering the search for extraterrestrial life. Unless we act now to reduce space debris, this alarming reality could soon come to fruition.

Rapidly Increasing Space Debris May Prevent Us from Finding Other Possible Civilizations

Orbiting Satellites Are Negatively Affecting Optical Telescopes

With a whopping 8,000 satellites currently orbiting Earth— quadruple the amount from 2019— we can assume that this number will continue to skyrocket in the coming years. Astoundingly, 400,00 of those approved for launch into low Earth orbit are attributed to SpaceX’s Starlink service alone. It is projected that 44,000 of these will be released for their offering to become available worldwide.

Astronomers are in a state of alarm due to the growing light pollution caused by satellites, preventing optical telescopes from operating. Moreover, when these satellites become dysfunctional and break down, they can turn into fireballs that emit copious amounts of brilliant light, which could disrupt astronomical observations further. Therefore experts’ concerns are escalating rapidly.

These Satellites Also Damage the Landscape

Last week, several organizations, comprising the UK Space Agency, convened to address the severity of this issue. Robert Massey, one of the Royal Astronomical Society’s directors, announced that over time, hundreds of thousands of satellites might be hovering in space, making it hard to detect any communication from other worlds.

Massey explains that this is also a cultural problem due to satellites’ destruction of our natural environment. However, Vera Rubin’s telescope in Chile-which kicks off its decade-long mission to observe billions of stars and galaxies come July-would be detrimentally impacted by space debris if action isn’t taken soon.

Emma Horvath

After graduating Communication and Media Studies MA in Eötvös Loránd University, Emma started to realize that her childhood dream as a creative news reporter committed to find dynamic journalism stories. I'm a passionate journalist with a keen interest in the fast-evolving world of cryptocurrencies. I've been reporting on the latest developments in the crypto industry for several years now, covering breaking news and providing insights on how the market is trending. I'm adept at analyzing daily market movements, researching ICOs, and keeping track of the latest innovations in blockchain technology. My expertise in the space makes her a trusted voice in the crypto community. Whether it's the latest Bitcoin price movements or the launch of a new DeFi platform, I am always at the forefront, bringing her readers the most up-to-date and informative news.

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