has been the brightest and most visible space snowball in a generation, but it’s also the first naked-eye comet to visit us in the new era of satellite mega-constellations like .
In just the latest episode of, a number of images have been circulating of the satellites photo-bombing Comet Neowise glamour shots.
One particularly dramatic time-lapse shot, by astrophotographer Daniel Lopez from the Canary Islands, has been making the rounds, prompting University of Nottingham astronomy professor Michael Merrifield to sum up his feelings in a pointed and succinct way:
“You’re an arse, @ElonMusk,” the professor wrote on Twitter.
SpaceX didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
So far, SpaceX has launched over 500 of its orbiting routers and has grand plans to launch tens of thousands more in the coming decade. The company has been working with astronomers to address the brightness problem, designing a sunshade called VisorSat that it’ll equip its satellites with going forward, to reduce the reflectivity of each small spacecraft.
We’ll see over the coming months just how effective the measure is and whether this period of light pollution for sky watchers will be just an anomaly in history or a new normal.