What is Starlink and how do I know if I’ve seen it?

Telegraph 04 May 2020 02:59

If you have seen bright trails of lights shooting across the sky recently, you may have been wondering whether it was a UFO you spotted, perhaps a meteor shower or a shooting star. 

The likelihood is, however, that it was Starlink – the satellite constellation being constructed by space firm SpaceX, sightings of which have ramped up over the past few weeks. 

But what exactly is Starlink, and how can you be sure you spotted it?

What is Starlink?

Starlink may sound like something from a comic book or Sci-Fi film, but in fact, it is a network of satellites which tech mogul Elon Musk has been launching into space. 

Right now, his company SpaceX has fired a couple of hundreds of these satellites into orbit, but, within the next few years, Musk has permission to launch another 12,000. He has also filed paperwork which would allow him to add another 30,000 satellites to the growing network.

This is significant. Up until now, in total, less than 10,000 objects have been fired into outer space, according to the United Nations' Office for Outer Space Affairs.

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