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Home News Second Announcement for the IAU Symposium #385 on Astronomy and Satellite Constellations: Pathways Forward

Second Announcement for the IAU Symposium #385 on Astronomy and Satellite Constellations: Pathways Forward

May 29, 2023
If you are interested in:
  • The latest news on the impact of satellite constellations on astronomy? Or on the topics listed below
  • Meeting the people at the forefront of this work
  • Sharing your efforts and knowledge in this area through networking or contributed talks
  • Helping to shape the next steps in protecting our dark and quiet skies from satellite constellation interference

Then please join us online or in person on the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands, Spain from 2 to 6 October 2023 for the IAU Symposium #385 (IAUS385) on Astronomy and Satellite Constellations: Pathways Forward.

See the website for the full information, including registration, abstract submission and fees payment. 30 June is the application deadline for IAU travel grants. 15 July is the deadline for submitting abstracts. 15 August is the registration deadline to attend at La Palma either in person or virtually.

The symposium poster, created by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias local organising staff can also be found online.

More information

The proliferation of satellites launched into orbit around Earth has improved our ability to communicate globally instantaneously; however, there are concerns about the impact these technologies are having on astronomical observations and the preservation of dark and quiet skies. The rapid growth in light pollution, which is only being exacerbated by the new satellites, impacts the whole of society. Many of us have never seen an unobscured night sky and over a third of humanity cannot see the Milky Way. These new satellites are encroaching on the few remaining dark sky reserves and radio-quiet zones.

To address these challenges, the IAU Symposium 385: Astronomy and Satellite Constellations: Pathways Forward will take place in La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain, 2–6, October 2023 with the support of the International Astronomical Union’s (IAU’s) newest specialist centre, the Centre for the Protection of the Dark and Quiet Sky from Satellite Constellation Interference (CPS) co-hosted by NSF’s NOIRLab and the SKA Observatory (SKAO). The Symposium local organiser (the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias) and the scientific organisers are listed here.

The symposium is planned as a dedicated space where astronomers, industry, space lawyers and other interested stakeholders can share the current status of their work with respect to large satellite constellations and their impact on astronomy and the night sky. Through presentations, panel discussions and networking, the current status of studies, observations and mitigations will be explored and gaps addressed to help define further the pathways forward.

TOPICS include, but are not limited to:

Software Development

  • Satellite ephemeris accuracy
  • Position predictions, avoidance, masking, artifact removal, etc
  • Software demonstrations

Updates in Observations

  • Astronomical observations (optical, radio)
  • Observation of satellites (hands-on workshop)

Brightness testing and modeling

  • BRDF modeling and hardware testing

Mitigation measures

  • Mitigation measures and best practice guidelines by industry
  • Mitigation measures and best practice guidelines by the astronomy community
  • Updated technical requirements

Industry Perspectives

  • Operational resources
  • Outreach plan for stakeholders & public
  • Reference & educational materials
  • Mitigations & analytical tools
  • Space safety initiatives helpful to astronomy
  • Implementation of best practices & mitigations

Policy Developments

  • IAU and UN COPUOS updates
  • International law and policy framework
  • Analysis of individual national approaches
  • Space sustainability rating
  • Emerging threats
  • Panel discussion: Toward a long-term sustainability approach

Communications, Education, Outreach and Engagement

  • Resource developed to provide a foundation in the areas of
    • Satellite basics
    • Satellite constellation design and operation
    • Impacts on the earth/space environment
    • Impacts on optical and infrared astronomy
    • Impacts on radio astronomy
    • Impacts on biology, culture and heritage
    • Legal and policy considerations
    • Mitigations
  • Watch party of video resources

IAU CPS: Purpose, Structure, Activities, Accomplishments and Future Plans for

  • SatHub
  • The Industry & Technology Hub
  • The Policy Hub
  • The Community Engagement Hub



Lars Lindberg Christensen
IAU Director of Communications
Cell: +1 520 461 0433/+49 173 38 72 621
Email: lars.christensen@noirlab.edu


Poster for IAU Symposium 385
Credit: IAU CPS See more


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