Group seeks to understand how a new type of satellite will impact Earth-based astronomy

October 3, 2023 | UW News | James Urton

A team of scientists has been tracking a bright object in the sky. But it’s not a star. It’s a new type of commercial satellite. Astronomers are trying to understand how its brightness and transmissions will interfere with Earth-based observations of the universe — and what can be done to minimize these effects as more of these satellites are launched.

In a paper published Oct. 2 in Nature, the team reports its first detailed assessment on how the satellite — BlueWalker 3 — could impact astronomy.