Megaconstellations of satellites are ruining the night sky: Indigenous groups say companies like SpaceX are washing away cultural traditions to look at constellations – and will ‘erase’ the Milky Way

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  • Some indigenous groups believe that satellite megaconstellations are ‘astro colonialism’ and are washing away cultural traditions.
  • Some see light pollution as a ‘cultural genocide’ that destroys communities’ ability to see the stars
  • Indigenous cultures’ ‘way of knowing:’ two ties to land and sky
  • As of August, SpaceX had launched more than 1,700 Starlink satellites
  • According to some estimates, by 2030 there could be more than 100,000 satellites orbiting the Earth, which is 25 times the current amount.

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Companies such as SpaceX, Amazon, OneWeb and others are launching mega-constellations of satellites into the night sky to provide Internet access, but some indigenous groups believe these initiatives amount to ‘astronomy’ and washing away cultural traditions.

Potential light pollution could ‘erase’ the skyline for many people, especially indigenous cultures, who have long-standing cultural traditions of observing the stars.

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2020. According to StudyLight pollution is seen as a ‘cultural genocide’, which destroys communities’ ability to see the stars.

The authors of that study wrote, ‘Many indigenous traditions and knowledge systems around the world are based on stars, and people’s ability to observe and interpret stellar conditions and properties is of vital importance to daily life and cultural continuity.

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‘The erosion of the night sky serves to erase the indigenous connection to the stars, which serves as an ongoing cultural and ecological genocide.’

Some indigenous groups believe that satellite megaconstellations are ‘astro colonialism’ and are washing away cultural traditions.

As of August, SpaceX had launched more than 1,700 Starlink satellites into space, but the company has far broader plans than its current 90,000 users.

As of August, SpaceX had launched more than 1,700 Starlink satellites into space, but the company has far broader plans than its current 90,000 users.

In June, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said that Starlink could have more than 500,000 users by the middle of 2022 and that the company could invest about $30 billion in the project.

In June, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said that Starlink could have more than 500,000 users by the middle of 2022 and that the company could invest about $30 billion in the project.

As of August, SpaceX had launched more than 1,700 Starlink satellites into space, but the company has far broader plans than its current 90,000 users.

In June, CEO Elon Musk said the service could have more than 500,000 users by the middle of 2022 and that the company could invest about $30 billion in the project over its lifetime.

According to ledgeBy 2030, there could be more than 100,000 operational satellites in Earth orbit, or 25 times the current amount.

Indigenous cultures and ‘ways of knowing’ are based on two connections: land and sky, explained Jennifer Howe, an education specialist at the University of Calgary, a member of the Metis Nation of Alberta Region 3 vice president Via email.

“Using these connections to the ancient natural world, spiritual and scientific traditional knowledge is shared and taught,” Housse said.

‘Teaching the motion and meaning of the stars, planets and moon in the night sky is lost when the younger generation is unable to see the stars.

‘The glare of artificial light challenges and limits our ability to discover, teach, and find ourselves in the universe.’

The effects of these mega-constellations are being felt not only in the Americas, but on indigenous peoples all over the world.

Carly Alinta Nunn, a woman from Gomeroi, “The anxiety I feel about megaconstellation is the same anxiety I feel when I see my country on fire or my neighbors in the Torres Strait and because of climate change.” I hear about their struggles with rising sea levels.” an astronomy researcher at the Australian National University told Vice.

‘The injection of thousands of metallic, highly reflective objects into our atmosphere is akin to environmental degradation because it is changing our sky and we don’t yet know if we can reverse it.’

SpaceX’s Starklink and other satellite constellations are being used to help close the digital divide and provide Internet access to remote areas, including places where indigenous cultures Lives.

However, some of them want to build your own internet And keep the sky free of man-made constellations in favor of those created by the universe, even if they are more famous than names that were not given by indigenous peoples, including the Pleiades, the Orion Belt, and the Southern Cross.

The Cree of North America and the Inuit and Tainui Māori of New Zealand all have different names for these constellations, including Pakone-Kisik, Ulukat, and Te Punga, respectively.

‘We have official constellations that are quite arbitrary based on some discussion by some white people essentially a century ago, while we ignore the constellations of various indigenous peoples, regardless of where we are on the land of those peoples,’ Hilding Nielsen, a Mi ‘kmaw person and astronomer told news outlets at the University of Toronto.

‘It’s not even marginalized. It’s an issue—it’s erasing.’

Indigenous cultures (as well as other organizations including astronomers, who have warned a lack of regulation would create a ‘Wild West in space’) are concerned that the large-scale deployment of these satellites will have long-lasting consequences for both the planet and space. There may be issues. on one’s own.

“We need a mindset change,” Aparna Venkatesan, a cosmologist at the University of San Francisco, told Vice. ‘It may take a generation, but we have to start working away from it, and we have to start from where things are now.

‘In a legal sense, it would be nice to see space as a common shared one that we’re all respectfully negotiating about, but we’re not there.’

As evidence of a ‘Wild West’ mentality, SpaceX and Amazon have repeatedly sparred over their respective projects, including the public spat in January between Musk and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

Both sides have recently blew the other For lawsuits related to satellite internet.

SpaceX and satellite communications firm ViaSat have also had a public fight over the Starlink megaconstellation, which ViaSat has claimed poses an environmental risk.

SpaceX has been in public controversies and lawsuits over its Starlink satellites.  This composite image was taken from the evening sky over a sunflower field in southern Brazil, capturing the passing Starlink satellites

SpaceX has been in public controversies and lawsuits over its Starlink satellites. This composite image was taken of the evening sky…

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