Splinter Meeting Protection

Protection of astronomy from anthropogenic electromagnetic interference

Time: Thursday September 14, 14:00-15:45 CEST (UTC+2)

Room: H 2035

Convenor(s): Andreas Hänel [1], Gyula I. G. Józsa [2], Andrew Williams [3], Benjamin Winkel [2]
[1] VdS, [2] MPIfR Bonn, [3] ESO

Three major sources of electromagnetic interference (EMI) through anthropogenic radiation in the radio-, the visible, and the infrared regime can be identified, artificial light at night, radio communications, and the impact of large satellite constellations. The amount of artificial light at night has dramatically increased with the introduction of the LED as the major source to illuminate streets and private, industrial, and commercial buildings and areas in the night. Too much anthropogenic lighting has a negative impact on human health, biological organisms in general, and astronomical research. The high demand on bandwidth for mobile communications, including fast mobile internet, at any place in the world leads to a more extensive usage of radio bands, rendering radio astronomical observations more and more difficult. Large satellite constellations are being built, whose satellites can be seen on any point on the earth, including remote astronomical sites. They reflect sunlight and emit in the radio regime, and hence threaten to have a significant negative impact on astronomy at multiple wavelengths.
Professional and amateur astronomers, together with representatives of other disciplines, are working on the mitigation of the problem of interference through anthropogenic electromagnetic radiation. Activities comprise the precise quantification of the strength and effects of EMI, raising public awareness, policy interventions, and the development of soft- or hardware mitigation techniques.
In this splinter meeting, we seek to generate an overview of these activities. We aim at informing the broader astronomical community about EMI, its potential consequences, and about activities and possibilities to help mitigating its negative impact on astronomy and society.


Thursday September 14, 14:00-15:45 Protection of astronomy from anthropogenic electromagnetic interference (H 2035)

14:05  Andreas Hänel:
Regulations against light pollution in Germany and other European countries

14:25  Gyula I. G. Józsa:
Radio astronomy protection in Germany

14:45  Felicitas Mokler:
Will we lose the sky to megaconstellations or can we still prevent it?

15:05  Gyula I. G. Józsa:
LOFAR observations of Starlink satellites

15:25  Andreas Hänel:
Finding the darkest places in Germany and Central Europe

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