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Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites set off a wave of UFO sighting reports in the Bay Area

A strange trail of lights was spotted in the night sky over the Bay Area in California this weekend that raised concerns among residents who thought the glowing display could be a ‘UFO.’

Although some had hoped it was visitors from another planet, the chain of light was from Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites that launched into orbit on May 9.

A number of videos and images of the light show were shared on Twitter, with users wondering if they were seeing an alien ship streak across the sky.

Paul Lynam, a resident astronomer at Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton, told The San Francisco Chronicle said the satellites were ‘catching and reflecting sunlight either in the couple hours after sunset or before sunrise’ — which is what a growing number of people are reporting seeing.

‘The sightings are becoming more common as SpaceX continues to populate its constellation space.’

A strange trail of lights was spotted in the night sky over the Bay Area in California this weekend that raised concerns among residents who thought the glowing display could be a ‘UFO’

Starlink is SpaceX’s internet service that aims to provide connections to areas of the globe where this has typically been a challenge.

SpaceX explained: ‘Unbounded by traditional ground infrastructure, Starlink can deliver high-speed broadband internet to locations where access has been unreliable or completely unavailable.’

The Musk-owned firm has sent more than 1,600 devices into space and the batch seen soaring about San Francisco on Saturday.

Jedd Goble, a Bay area resident, shared his experience on Twitter: ‘Just saw my first long train of Starlink satellites, reflecting the already-set sun.

Although some i had hoped it was visitors from another planet, the chain of light was from Elon Musk's Starlink satellites that launched into orbit on May 9

Although some i had hoped it was visitors from another planet, the chain of light was from Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites that launched into orbit on May 9

A number of videos and images of the light show were shared on Twitter, with users wondering if they were seeing an alien ship streak across the sky

A number of videos and images of the light show were shared on Twitter, with users wondering if they were seeing an alien ship streak across the sky

‘Absolutely surreal to see a line of perfectly spaced bright lights moving in unison to the horizon. Kinda cool and all but makes me worry for the future of stargazing.’

Others flocked to Twitter to joke that it may be an encounter of the third kind.

Rebecca Storm tweeted: ‘It’s a bird? It’s a plane? (My husband secretly hoping it’s a UFO’s)… turns out its @spacex Starlink.’  

Geoff Mathews, professor of astronomy at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, told The San Francisco Chronicle that he was sure the satellites were from the May 9 mission.

The string of lights baffled residents in the Bay Area, who  believed they saw a UFO

The string of lights baffled residents in the Bay Area, who  believed they saw a UFO

This Twitter users also thought the Starlink satellites were a group of UFOs. The sightings are becoming more common as SpaceX continues to populate its constellation space

This Twitter users also thought the Starlink satellites were a group of UFOs. The sightings are becoming more common as SpaceX continues to populate its constellation space

‘These should have been clearly visible from the San Francisco Bay Area from 9:38 am to 9:49 am last night and almost directly overhead,’ he said. 

‘They would have been just a little weaker than Polaris, the upholstery.’

This conclusion stems from calculations from the website ‘Heavens Above’ that shows satellite positioning.

According to the website, Mathews said, ‘A chain of 10 should be visible again tonight from 9:06 am to 9:13 am, from SW to NE and fairly high above your head.’

Starlink sightings have become a common occurrence since SpaceX has accelerated launches to meet its goal of 12,000 devices.

One event was report just a few weeks before on May 5, when Seattle residents spotted strange lights streaking overhead.

Starlink sightings have become a common occurrence since SpaceX has accelerated launches to meet its goal of 12,000 devices. One event was report just a few weeks before on May 5, when Seattle residents spotted strange lights streaking overhead

Starlink sightings have become a common occurrence since SpaceX has accelerated launches to meet its goal of 12,000 devices. One event was report just a few weeks before on May 5, when Seattle residents spotted strange lights streaking overhead

Dozens of people took to Twitter to share footage of the unexplained lights, with many claiming it was evidence of extraterrestrial activity

Dozens of people took to Twitter to share footage of the unexplained lights, with many claiming it was evidence of extraterrestrial activity

Dozens of people took to Twitter to share footage of the unexplained lights, with many claiming it was evidence of extraterrestrial activity.

Several videos show the long thin line of lights moving quickly across the darkened sky. Social media users as far north as Vancouver, Canada – 120 miles from Seattle – also recorded clips of the flying objects.

‘What did we just witness over the Seattle area?’ one asked.

‘This thing was silent, huge in scale (at least a few football fields?) and moving fast to the southeast.’

They pondered whether it could be a UFO or even ‘a secret black budget government craft’.

Musk announced this month that his new Starlink satellite internet service has already had half a million preorders, but reassures there won’t be any ‘technical problems meeting that demand.’

SpaceX has not set a date for Starlink’s public launch, but a commercial service would not likely be offered in 2021 as it had previously planned. 

Musk added that the only limitation would be high density of users in urban areas.

He wrote: ‘Only limitation is high density of users in urban areas. Most likely, all of the initial 500k will receive service. More of a challenge when we get into the several million user range.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk