Have you seen bright lights traveling in a straight line through the sky lately and wondered what they are?
As the world soaks up the leap in human ingenuity from the first images from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, some people are wondering what they see in the sky closer to home.
An ABC Radio Brisbane listener told the breakfast show that the lights appeared to be like a centipede of stars or lights traveling across the sky towards him, at “decent speed”.
University of Southern Queensland astronomer and astrobiologist Jonti Horner said the lights were actually Elon Musk’s newest Starlink satellites and such sightings were becoming more common.
“His company SpaceX launched [the satellites] in the past 24-36 hours and they were visible over our region between 5:21am and 5:26am this morning,” he said.
“Several of them, all in a row, very close together, relatively bright.
Launched to provide the Starlink internet service, the satellites are causing endless grief to astronomers for the pollution they cause, and they really scare people.
If you live on the east coast of Australia and want to see the satellites, Professor Horner said they would be visible again between 5:36am and 5:44am on Thursday and at about 5:55am on Friday.
“It will be two or three minutes earlier at the southern tip near Tasmania, and one or two minutes later if you are on the north side,” Professor Horner said.