The Bluewalker 3 satellite is brighter than 99.8% of visible stars

Sightings of a massive test satellite launched in September have fueled concerns about the impact a planned fleet could have on astronomy


November 25, 2022


The 64 square meter reflective array of the Blue Walker 3 satellite after its deployment in orbit

AST SpaceMobile

A test satellite for a future space-to-Earth mobile phone network is brighter than 99.8% of the stars visible to the naked eye. If a planned fleet of 100 more satellites is as bright or brighter, astronomers fear it could seriously affect ground-based astronomy.

In September, the Texas company AST SpaceMobile launched its BlueWalker 3 satellite to test the broadcast of a cellular connection directly to mobile phones from space.

But astronomers feared the test…

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