Elon Musk's Starlink Satellites To Be Visible Over The UK Tonight
Yep, while you're outside attempting to catch a glimpse of the Lyrid meteor shower - which should also be visible across the Northern Hemisphere for the next few days - you might also get an added man-made stargazing treat at the same time.
In fact, if you were outside last night and saw a load of strange linear lights in the sky, you may have already seen it.
Well, it's either that or aliens have arrived, taken a look at Planet Earth, and decided not to bother.
So, if you're in the UK, have a look South West to East at around 9.23pm for about six minutes. Provided the skies are clear you should be able to see the eerie chain of lights winding their way across the night sky.
The exact times of the passes can be found at this website.
Starlink, in case you're wondering, is part of Elon Musk's SpaceX project, and aims to put a whole load of low-orbit satellites into orbit to improve the internet service around the globe.
Or perhaps he's just gone rogue and turned into some sort of evil genius. That couldn't happen, could it?
#spaceX #starlink live from #Kosovo. pic.twitter.com/MXkVWT4iZt
- Astrit Spanca (@astritspanca776) April 19, 2020
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While they're cool for us to see, not everyone is so chuffed about Musk's efforts to improve the world's reception. Some astronomers have even called it a 'crime against humanity'.
That's because they reflect light back at the earth, meaning that it is difficult for the scientists to actually observe the night sky beyond the satellite chain.
Why didn't I know this was happening tonight?!
I'm led to believe there's another pass in about 75 mins? #Starlink
- Bryan Elwick (@Elwick70) April 19, 2020
The latest launch of Starlink was the fifth so far, and took the total number of satellites up to 300. Eventually, they aim to have 4,425 units up there. That really is a lot of satellites.
The firm recently filed plans with the USA's Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in which they said: "Once fully deployed, the SpaceX system will pass over virtually all parts of the Earth's surface and therefore, in principle, have the ability to provide ubiquitous global service,
"Every point on the Earth's surface will see, at all times, a SpaceX satellite."
Of those who saw them last night across Western Europe, one person said: "Just watched them with the kids...amazing."
Another wrote: "Sitting out in the garden tonight in Manchester city centre and just watched '31 planes' fly overheard at once.
"Turns out it's a 'Starlink' by SpaceX - Elon Musks' company in America."
Whether you agree with it or not, it's certainly something to see.
Featured Image Credit: PA