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BlueWalker 3 Satellite

BlueWalker 3 Satellite:

An international team of scientists have published a paper detailing the impact of the prototype BlueWalker 3 satellite on astronomy.

  • BlueWalker 3 satellite is a prototype satellite, part of a satellite constellation planned by its owner AST SpaceMobile.
  • It was one of the brightest objects in the night sky, outshining all the brightest stars.
  • It was launched in September 2022.
  • It is the largest-ever commercial communications array deployed in low-Earth orbit and is designed to communicate directly with cellular devices via 3GPP standard frequencies at 5G speeds.
  • It uses wavelengths close to those that radio telescopes observe in, the satellite could also hamper radio astronomy.

Satellite constellation:

  • It is a group of artificial satellites working together as a system.
  • Unlike a single satellite, a constellation can provide permanent global or near-global coverage, such that at any time everywhere on Earth at least one satellite is visible.