“Star” Gazing

Last night when I was walking home from work, I stopped in an area where houses blocked the strongest of the street lights and looked up at the sky. I saw very few stars, but realizing how long it takes my eyes to adjust now, I kept looking, and gradually, more stars showed themselves.

As I was staring up at the sky, I happened to notice a bright star-like light on the southwestern horizon. It was going too fast to be natural and too slow to be an airplane. Following that first light, another appeared, and then another until there were at least fifty “stars” strung across the sky, disappearing into the northeast sky.

It was such an odd and eerie sight, that I couldn’t take my eyes off that almost evenly-spaced line.

When I got home, I checked to see what it was I had seen. Apparently, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, co-founder of PayPal, and founder of SpaceX, owns these satellites. He launched the first set of sixty in May of 2019, the second set of sixty in April of 2020, and he eventually hopes to launch a total of 12,000. All in an effort to bring the internet to remote areas.

This seems a rather egregious use of power. I don’t even understand why he was allowed to do this. Nor do I believe his stated aim of bringing the internet to remote areas. I mean, how would that be cost effective? Remoteness connotes isolation, which basically means very few people. So, spending billions to make perhaps millions? I don’t think so.

Still, I’m trying not to have an opinion of things I cannot control, so I will try to forget who owns those satellites, try not to worry about what they are doing over my head, and just remember the eeriness of watching that string of twinklers slowly marching across the sky.

***

“I am Bob, the Right Hand of God. As part of the galactic renewal program, God has accepted an offer from a development company on the planet Xerxes to turn Earth into a theme park. Not even God can stop progress, but to tell the truth, He’s glad of the change. He’s never been satisfied with Earth. For one thing, there are too many humans on it. He’s decided to eliminate anyone who isn’t nice, and because He’s God, He knows who you are; you can’t talk your way out of it as you humans normally do.”

Click here to buy Bob, The Right Hand of God

6 Responses to ““Star” Gazing”

  1. rami ungar the writer Says:

    I think he’s trying to eliminate a huge problem in recent horror stories: being unable to connect to the Internet or call for help because of remoteness.

  2. Estragon Says:

    My understanding is the system is intended to provide near global coverage for Internet Of Things. Satellite systems aren’t very good for interactive internet applications (eg. web browsers). Low Earth Orbit satellite is better, having lower latency, but still isn’t great. For applications like IOT, which typically send small amounts of data and don’t need low latency, the global coverage is the big ask. The access for country bumpkins is mostly a PR thing. The money (if there is any) is apparently in IOT.

    Jeff Bezos is doing something similar with Blue Origin presumably to tie into Amazon Web Services. As far as being allowed to do this, there really isn’t anyone to allow it. As yet, there’s nothing like the international structures governing sea or air traffic. Considering the US isn’t signed on to the international law on the sea yet, those structures may be some ways off!

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      So if both these guys launch all the satellites they are planning, in the future, we may never be able to see real stars.

      Thanks for the explanation. I didn’t know what Internet of Things was. I had to look it up. Seems spooky to me, but what do I know.

  3. Scott Says:

    It is sad that now man is starting to cover up one of the most beautiful things we have left, there is nothing like looking at the stars on a clear night. The problem is with all this stuff going on there are no more clear nights.

  4. Judy Galyon Says:

    Those lights are very strange!! I’m with you, I don’t think it will be for internet.


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