A strange streak of lights passing over Quinte’s night sky dazzles onlookers

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Residents of Quinte marveled at an unusual celestial apparition in the western night sky over the weekend that prompted a slew of posts online questioning its origins.

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A straight line of bright star-like dots moved slowly across the night sky shortly after sunset on Saturday, catching the attention of residents enjoying the outdoors on a clear summer night.

The strange string of bright lights was actually the 56th batch of 53 Starlink satellites by Elon Musk’s SpaceX fired into Earth’s lower atmosphere the previous day from Space Force Station Cape Canaveral in Florida, SpaceX confirmed on its website. website.

The trail of lights is part of an effort by SpaceX’s internet provider Starlink to eventually send 12,000 satellites into Earth orbit to create a more accessible global internet network by Musk.

Last Friday’s launch brings the total number of Starlink satellites launched to 3,108 with many more to come from the company.

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The unusual sight could be seen from Toronto to the east coast of North America, according to media reports, and follows reports of other sightings since Project Starlink began in 2015.

Facebook users were left stunned by what appeared to be a line of stars moving through the constellations after 10 p.m. Saturday.

“We were camping in South Bay country and saw it… No idea what it was. But it was cool,” Sara Jessica Lynn wrote.

Amanda Miller-Maracle was also in Prince Edward County and looked up and saw the moving lights

“I saw it at East Lake too. Pretty neat,” she said.

The reason the newly launched satellites are so visible soon after rocket launch is because the sun reflects off the small spacecraft as they follow each other into low orbit before climbing higher for ages. weeks later and become almost invisible.

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SpaceX officials said they are working to darken satellites soon after launch at the request of astronomy organizations around the world who have complained that the lights are interfering with Earth observation. universe.

To darken the satellites, SpaceX said they “add a deployable visor to the satellite to block sunlight from reaching the brightest parts of the spacecraft.”

For those who missed the weekend light show, there may be another opportunity to revisit the Starlink light trail as the company plans to launch another batch of satellites on August 27 from Kennedy Space Center.

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