The International Astronomical Union has issued the preliminary results from a study on the potential effects of multi-thousand satellite constellations like that being built by StarLink. Finding that Earth-based astronomical observations may be “severely affected,” the body warned that mitigations and rules had better be formed sooner rather than later.

The group expressed its concerns last summer, but undertook a broader study and survey of possible effects, asking various observatories and organizations to chime in. The general feeling is one of “hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.”

According to the IAU’s estimates, once there are tens of thousands of satellites in low Earth orbit, somewhere around 1,500 will be above the horizon at any given time, though fewer (250-300) would be more

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