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Articles on Satellites

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A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying Starlink satellites launches on Aug. 19, 2022. The Falcon 9 is a reusable rocket and its re-entry is controlled after launch, reducing debris. (Malcolm Denemark/Florida Today via AP)

Airplanes face a growing risk of being hit by uncontrolled re-entries of rockets used to launch satellites

Rockets used to launch satellites fall back to Earth, and as their number grows, the risk faced by people living on the ground — or flying in airplanes — increases.
Radio observatories like the Green Bank Telescope are in radio quiet zones that protect them from interference. NRAO/AUI/NSF

Radio interference from satellites is threatening astronomy – a proposed zone for testing new technologies could head off the problem

Many telescopes use the radio spectrum to learn about the cosmos. Just as human development leads to more light pollution, increasing numbers of satellites are leading to more radio interference.
Satellite data isn’t collected and treated the same way location data are. (Shutterstock)

Satellite data: The other type of smartphone data you might not know about

Cellphones are constantly collecting location data from global satellites, but there is uncertainty about who is using these data, and for what purposes.
Workers flood a Vietnamese-flagged boat caught operating illegally off West Kalimantan, Indonesia on May 4, 2019 in order to sink it. AP Photos/William Pasaribu

When fishing boats go dark at sea, they’re often committing crimes – we mapped where it happens

Understanding when, where and why fishing vessels sometimes turn off their transponders is a key step toward curbing illegal fishing and other crimes on the high seas.
New satellite mapping techniques can quickly locate washed out and damaged areas. Ricardo Arduengo / AFP via Getty Images

New satellite mapping with AI can quickly pinpoint hurricane damage across an entire state to spot where people may be trapped

Artificial intelligence can spot differences in images from before and after a storm over wide areas in almost real time. It showed Hurricane Ian’s vast damage in Florida.
Didymos (bottom right) and its smaller moonlet Dimorphos (center) were the targets of the Double Asteroid Redirection Test. NASA/Johns Hopkins APL

NASA crashed a spacecraft into an asteroid – photos show the last moments of the successful DART mission

The Double Asteroid Redirection Test successfully showed that it is possible to crash a spacecraft into a small asteroid. Whether the approach could save Earth from a future threat remains to be seen.

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