Starlink trains can be seen on the left side of comet Neowise in this image from Lake Havasu, Arizona. Sloan

Comet Neowise was the brightest and most visible space snowball of a generation, but it is also the first comet with the naked eye to visit us in the new era of satellite mega-constellations Starlink from SpaceX.

In just the latest episode of Starlink "trains" irritating astronomersA number of images from the satellite bombing of Comet Neowise glamor images have been distributed.

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A particularly dramatic time-lapse shot of astrophotographer Daniel Lopez from the Canary Islands made the round and prompted Michael Merrifield, Professor of Astronomy at the University of Nottingham, to summarize his feelings in a pointed and concise way:

"You're an ass, @ElonMusk," the professor wrote on Twitter.

SpaceX did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

To date, SpaceX has launched over 500 of its rotating routers and plans to launch tens of thousands more in the next ten years. Working with astronomers to solve the brightness problem, the company developed a parasol called VisorSat, which its satellites can use in the future to reduce the reflectivity of any small spacecraft.

We will see in the coming months how effective the measure is and whether this time of light pollution will be just an anomaly in history or a new normal for sky watchers.


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