This is why stargazers were stunned at trains of lights over Yorkshire skies

Trains of lights in the night sky from SpaceX satellites have been amazing stargazers across the UK.

Monday, 20th April 2020, 12:44 pm
Skygazers were stunned to see trains of light across the night sky. (Stock photo of a meteor shower over Yorkshire. Photo: Bruce Rollinson).

The satellites are part of a scheme by tech entrepreneur Elon Musk's SpaceX company, launched with the aim of improving global internet coverage.

People across the UK and Europe reported seeing the unique chain of lights over the weekend, as the craft passed over in low orbit.

More than 300 satellites have been launched so far, with the network eventually set to reach 12,000, rising to as many as 42,000 in the future.

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Once in place, the network - known as a mega constellation - will be able to beam internet coverage down to any location on Earth.

Reports of sightings were spread across the UK, with users in London, Manchester and Leeds among those taking to social media to report seeing the craft.

According to space experts, the current high rate of sightings is due to the satellites being in low orbit after they first launch.

SpaceX launches Starlink satellites in batches of 60 before they gradually rise to a higher orbit and becoming less visible.

The most recent batch was launched in mid-March, with another batch scheduled to be launched on April 23.

The satellites have been deliberately designed to be light and compact so they can be launched in such large batches.

However, despite interest in the project, some have raised concerns over the impact the new network could have on other activities, such as astronomy.

As a result, SpaceX has started to coat the devices with dark paint in order to reduce their brightness.

Several websites allow people to track the current locations of the satellites, including findstarlink.com, where users can also see when Starlink is likely to be visible to them again.

That website suggests parts of the UK could also see a flyover from a group of the satellites just before 10pm on Monday night.

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