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Live public discussion with Andy Lawrence, Brian Eno, Catherine Heymans, Mark McCaughrean from ESA, Amy Mehlman from Viasat, and many others

About this event

Thousands of satellites are now being launched into Low Earth Orbit in "mega-constellations" to give us high speed internet from space, with the prospect of tens of thousands more, as competition heats up. But many astronomers are furious, as the satellites streak brightly across their images, and space experts are worried that we are headed towards unsustainable overcrowding. Are we selling off space? Polluting our last wilderness? Losing our right to see the stars? Opening the door to adverts in the sky? Or are these things a reasonable price to pay to connect up the world to the internet, at the fastest possible speeds?

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Discussion so far has been highly technical, in scientific and business meetings. This live public discussion brings together experts from across the globe to demystify the issues and debate the options, following on from the issues explored in the popular book "Losing The Sky" by Professor Andy Lawrence.

For information about the book and event, visit Prof. Andy Lawrence’s website.

  • Astronomical Science: Why are astronomers worried?
  • Connecting the world: Why are space companies building huge constellations?
  • Environment and culture: What is our right to the sky? Should we care?
  • Space Junk: Does the growth of space debris really threaten everybody's use of space?
  • Space Law: Who has the say on who is allowed to do what, and should it change?

Where do we go from here?

We are hosting this event in association with the School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Edinburgh, and the Gnosis network.

Image credit: NOIRLab/NSF/AURA/P.Marenfeld

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Come along to one of our meetings, hear interesting talks, find out about what’s in the sky this month and meet other astronomers.

We meet monthly, usually on the first Friday of the month at 7:30pm, and are always happy to see new faces at our meetings. The Astronomical Society of Edinburgh (ASE) has been holding meetings in Edinburgh about astronomy since 1924.

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