UW News

Meredith Rawls


April 22, 2022

Heavens need environmental protection just like Earth, experts say

Space urgently needs special legal protection similar to that given to land, sea and atmosphere to protect its fragile environment, argues a team of scientists. The scientific, economic and cultural benefits of space should be considered against the damaging environmental impacts posed by an influx of space debris — roughly 60 miles above Earth’s surface — fueled by the rapid growth of so-called satellite mega-constellations. In a paper published April 22 in Nature Astronomy, the authors assert that space is an important environment to preserve on behalf of professional astronomers, amateur stargazers and Indigenous peoples.


February 9, 2022

New IAU center to focus on solutions to satellite interference in astronomical observations

The International Astronomical Union has launched the Centre for the Protection of the Dark and Quiet Sky from Satellite Constellation Interference to coordinate collaborative multidisciplinary international efforts with institutions and individuals — including researchers at the University of Washington’s DiRAC Institute — to help mitigate the negative impacts of satellite constellations on ground-based optical and radio astronomy observations as well as humanity’s enjoyment of the night sky.