The lights appear in groups of 60 in a long line. There have been numerous reports from places like the
US and the UK of people seeing them, with explanations ranging from UFOs to an alien invasion. Of course.
But have no fear. These lights are actually satellites, launched into space by the US company SpaceX, run by South African businessman Elon Musk. And they are a bit controversial.
The satellites are part of Starlink. This is a SpaceX project to launch thousands of satellites into
orbit and transmit the internet to Earth from space. SpaceX hopes to use it to fund missions to Mars.
Since the first launch in May 2019, SpaceX has launched about 360 of these satellites. Each one weighs
about 260 pounds and is about the size of a flattened car, with a large solar panel that reflects sunlight.
12,000 Starlink satellites in orbit and potentially up to 42,000. This is known as a mega constellation.
The satellites are launched in batches of 60, with SpaceX aiming to launch about two batches per month - although they have not yet
achieved that frequency. Each time the satellites are launched, on the company's own reusable Falcon 9 rockets, they are put into orbit about 290 kilometers above the Earth's surface.