UFO reports surge after Elon Musk launches SpaceX internet satellites

'Is it Russia attacking the US? Are they UFOs?', one witness said

SpaceX internet satellites prompt UFO reports

Elon Musk's plan to deliver universal internet access via a network of low Earth orbit satellites has left some stargazers confused, after the first batch prompted hundreds of UFO reports.

SpaceX launched the first 60 satellites of its Starlink project last week, which the private space firm says will form the first part of a 12,000-strong satellite network that will beam high-speed internet back down to Earth.

Shortly after the launch, astronomer Marco Langbroek captured a video of the satellites passing across the sky over the Netherlands in single file.

Dutch website UFO Meldpunt, which is dedicated to UFO sightings, received more than 150 reports about the satellite train, with some speculating that it might be aliens.

One witness told Dutch public broadcaster Nederlandse Omroep Stichting: "I didn't know what to make of it. Is it Russia attacking the US? Are they UFOs? Seriously, I didn't know."

SpaceX says the satellites will spread apart from each other as they orbit the Earth, meaning it will no longer be possible to view them in such close formation.

The size of the satellites also mean it is unlikely that people looking up at the night sky will be able to see them with their naked eye.

Reports from some astronomers, however, suggest the solar panels on the Starlink satellites create a flare, causing them to appear brighter than any star that they are passing in front of.

Mr Musk, the CEO of the space firm, said the first 60 satellites deployed successfully but will not be operational until another 800 have been launched.

SpaceX shared images of the 60 Starlink satellites before they were deployed into orbit

SpaceX is not the only firm working on space-based internet, with Amazon also planning to create its own network of internet satellites, however it will likely be the first to achieve it.

"SpaceX designed Starlink to connect end users with low latency, high bandwidth broadband services by providing continual coverage around the world using a network of thousands of satellites in low Earth orbit," SpaceX states on its website.

"SpaceX expects to encounter issues along the way, but our learnings here are key to developing an affordable and reliable broadband service in the future."

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