The Humanity Star is a geodesic sphere is made from carbon fibre with 65 highly reflective panels. The Humanity Star sphere spins rapidly, reflecting the sun's light back to Earth. Essentially it creates a similar effect as a disco ball, creating the appearance of a bright flashing shooting star.
Created by Rocket Lab founder and CEO Peter Beck, the Humanity Star is a geodesic sphere made from carbon fibre with 65 highly reflective panels. It spins rapidly, reflecting the sun’s rays back to Earth, creating a flashing light that can be seen against a backdrop of stars.
Orbiting the Earth every 90 minutes and visible from anywhere on the globe, the Humanity Star is designed to be a bright symbol and reminder to all on Earth about our fragile place in the universe.
The concept of the Humanity Star was in part inspired by the Iridium flare phenomenon. Widely considered to be the brightest man-made object in the night sky, Iridium flares are caused by a flat metallic plane on Iridium satellites briefly reflecting the sun. The Humanity Star builds on this concept by creating many reflective surfaces to capture and reflect more of the sun’s light.
Not surprisingly, astronomers and others who were unhappy with the Iridium network are also unhappy with the Humanity Star, which messes up astronomical observations and perhaps the night sky itself. There are also people who are concerned that this will lead to Low Earth Orbit advertisements.
Take a look at 2005 article I wrote on this subject Sky Billboards In Fact And Fiction; I wonder if the FAA followed through with its intention to prevent "obtrusive" advertising in orbit.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 1/20/2018)