SpaceX Signs Agreement to Prevent Starlink From Interfering With Astronomy

(Credit: Getty Images/Michael Orso)

The Starlink network currently includes 3,300+ orbiting satellites, which can reflect sunlight and interfere with astronomical observations and photo-bomb images of the night sky. So for months now, SpaceX has been in talks with scientists on minimizing Starlink’s impact on astronomy. The FCC also made it a requirement for SpaceX to reach an agreement with the NSF as a condition for approving a second-generation Starlink network.

The agreement says both SpaceX and the NSF will work together to reduce the brightness of satellites through physical design changes, their orientation in orbit, and other methods. Back in July, SpaceX debuted some of the design improvements, which include using new materials and colors on the satellites to cut down on the reflections.

First Look: Emergency SOS via Satellite on iPhone 14

To be clear, you’re not actually making a phone call—you don’t have sat-phone service with the iPhone 14. The Emergency SOS via satellite feature is run entirely by text message. The app walks you through a series of questions such as whether you are lost, what your injury is, and what landmarks are nearby that might help responders locate you more easily.