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 Post subject: A disco ball in space
PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 5:14 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:05 am
Posts: 5246
Location: Lancashire
The New Zealand company Rocket Lab has launched a huge, brilliant, "disco ball"-like object into orbit. Some astronomers are outraged by what they consider to be an obstruction in space - blocking out stars and making it harder to launch satellites.
The bright new object was justified by the company by saying that it was "born of a desire to encourage people to consider their place in the universe and reflect on what's important in their lives and the lives of humanity as a species." The disco ball will orbit Earth for a year.
David Kipping, an astronomer at Columbia University, said of this public relations stunt, "This is stupid, vandalises the night sky and corrupts our view of the cosmos." Others said that there was no need for an artificial star to make us appreciate the night sky. "The Moon and planets invoke similar feelings of wonder - why do we need this artificial disco ball?" asked planetary scientist Meg Schwamb.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:51 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:32 am
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Location: New Farnley, Leeds lat 53.8N long 1.6W
I remember the excitement when I looked for the Echo "balloon in space" when I was a little boy. It certainly made me look up, as the saying goes. I wonder if any future worthies of space science will own up to having their interest stimulated by the sight of the disco ball? In fact I'm gonna try to look up an ephemeris. Best wishes Bob.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:02 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:05 am
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Location: Lancashire
I recall seeing Echo 1 ( or was it 2? ) in a friend's homemade 8-inch Newtonian reflector. The inflated satellite could be plainly seen as a little ball through the eyepiece.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:22 pm 
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Location: 55° 57'N: 03° 08'W
Humanity Star will burn up in the atmosphere in the next five days.


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