STUNNED stargazers spotted a strange trail of twinkling objects over the weekend.
Sightings have been reported throughout the American Northwest, including Washington, Oregon and British Columbia as well Canada.
The event was particularly strange because the lights appeared to be moving in a straight line.
“So this is the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen in the sky,” said one viewer.
“A slow-moving line of light just passed across southern Ontario.
“Anyone have an explanation?”
This obviously led some observers to speculate that it could be aliens, but the truth is much closer to home.
The glowing lights were actually satellites.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX satellites, to be precise.
The tech billionaire launched its latest batch of Starlink internet satellites from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on Friday.
He already has thousands in low Earth orbit, but he wants to eventually have up to 42,000.
It’s actually not the first time the kit has caused such a spectacle – although it’s not one appreciated by astronomers.
Experts have previously complained that SpaceX’s technology is blocking their view of stars.
They say the satellites are ruining their observations of the sky.
A study has warned that their glare even affects images used to detect potentially dangerous asteroids.
There are also fears that a catastrophic jumble of space debris left behind by satellites could potentially prevent rockets from leaving Earth, an effect known as “Kessler Syndrome”.
What is Starlink?
Starlink is a satellite project launched in 2015 by billionaire SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.
Musk intends to launch 12,000 satellites into Earth orbit over the next decade, potentially to 42,000 in the future.
The “mega constellation” will eventually be able to broadcast internet coverage anywhere in the world, according to SpaceX.
The California-based company says its network will provide users with high-speed, low-latency Internet coverage.
Latency is the time it takes to send data from one point to the next.
Because Starlink satellites are 60 times closer to Earth than most satellites, SpaceX WiFi latency is lower than traditional satellite internet.
They will be launched from Cape Carnaveral in Florida on Falcon 9 unmanned rockets also being built by SpaceX.
The impact of low-orbiting technology on viewing the night sky is a major concern, as they appear brighter than many stars and planets.
Astronomers and amateur stargazers have repeatedly attacked SpaceX for ruining their observations.
The company argues that its satellites are only bright shortly after launch because they are in low orbit.
Over the course of several weeks, the satellites move further away from Earth and apparently dampen their effect on space observations.
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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/9296134/starlink-spacex-elon-musk-satellites-spotted-train/ Stargazers have been stunned by mysterious light shows – but there’s a simple explanation linked to Elon Musk