The National Astronomical Observatory of Japan announced on December 8 that painting artificial satellites in black reduced the reflection of sunlight by about half compared to the unpainted ones. “It can be expected to reduce the adverse effects on astronomical observation,” he said.
The brightness of multiple artificial satellites was measured with the Ishigakijima Astronomical Observatory Murikabushi Telescope, and changes before and after painting were investigated. When the US SpaceX observed the artificial satellite “DarkSat” launched in January, it was found that the reflectance was suppressed compared to other artificial satellites.
According to the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, the utilization of outer space has progressed in recent years, and multiple plans for launching and operating a large number of artificial satellites have been planned and implemented. Since unpainted artificial satellites reflect sunlight and shine, there are concerns about adverse effects on astronomical observation.
Traces of artificial satellites taken with the Murikabushi Telescope