KILLER asteroids capable of wiping out entire cities may soon be harder to spot due to a horde of satellites that Elon Musk is hurling into space.
The South African billionaire’s Starlink project aims to set up a mega-constellation of internet-beaming spacecraft that astronomers fear will block their view of the stars.
They told news site Axios that the orbiting junk threatens to make it trickier to track asteroids and other space objects.
It follows complaints from astronomers last week that Starlink satellites were clouding their view of a rare meteor shower.
Controversial Tesla boss Musk, 48, has promised to launch 12,000 satellites by the mid-2020s.
More than 120 have been fired into space since the project began in May. The eventual goal is to transmit cheap WiFi to people worldwide.
Scientists have repeatedly raised concerns that such a large volume of satellites will interfere with the operations of telescopes and observatories.
Such observations are key to the tracking of so-called Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) – space rocks and other objects that may careen into our planet.
Experts keep a keen eye on thousands of NEOs to ensure none are on a collision course with Earth.
While most are too small to obliterate humanity, many are large enough to flatten a city.