Sustainability — in space

Gavin Starks
1 min readJan 20, 2022


This evening I learned… just how bad our sky pollution is going to get.

There is *exponential* growth in satellite: this is growth from 2,000 satellites a couple of years ago, to over 4,000 now and (realistic) projection of over 100,000 THIS decade.

This means, for example, if you looked at the sky through your binoculars, you’d see 10 satellites in your field of view. Add in the space junk risk — we endanger our global communications infrastructure.

And of course, for astrophysicists, it’s the equivalent of putting a blindfold on the people who help invent our future science and technology (reminder: astronomy has underpinned the development of things ranging from agriculture to understanding time and gravity, all the way through to the digital camera in your phone and the way you are receiving this message via the global web).



with thanks to Andrew Conway and Andy Lawrence.