Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Opinion
Faye Flam

Satellites Are Changing the Night Sky as We Know It

The stars we can see from Earth could soon be outnumbered by a swarm of satellites.

Stargazing ain’t what it used to be

Stargazing ain’t what it used to be

Photographer: Cesar Manso/AFP/Getty Images

Expect the night sky to start changing fast. One day soon, the stars we can see from Earth could be outnumbered by a vast swarm of satellites.

While many people today live under the murk of light pollution, we can at least still travel to a glittering night sky in the mountains, the desert, or at sea. But if communications technology follows its current trajectory, anyone who wants to escape the byproducts of human activity might have to go to the moon.