A fireball crosses the sky over Scotland and Northern Ireland

A fireball crosses the sky over Scotland and Northern Ireland

According to scientists’ first observations, it’s space debris from the Starlink satellite from Elon Musk’s SpaceX company, which plans to put thousands of them into orbit.

It wasn’t a UFO or a Queen Elizabeth sign. This Wednesday evening, even residents of Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England were able to see the fireball cross the sky for twenty seconds. As reported GuardianThe UK Meteor Network received around 800 reports of this.

Many videos and pictures have been posted on social networks, and some Internet users are wondering – and worried – about this phenomenon. Theories and attempts at explanation multiplied.

A Starlink satellite

Fears, or hopes, however, were soon swept away. If it hasn’t been fully verified yet, it appears to be a device from Elon Musk’s company, SpaceX, again. While many thought it was a meteorite, astronomer UK Meteor Network John McLean said the watchman It’s probably space junk because it’s moving too slowly to become a meteorite.

According to him and other researchers, the most likely cause is a Starlink satellite from SpaceX. Thousands of them are designed to form an array of satellites that will be placed in orbit around the Earth to provide Internet connectivity.

John McLean explained that the Starlink satellites “have a limited life in space so they rotate regularly.”

“We expect more than 40,000 satellites in the next few years. Soon, one in five objects you see in the night sky will be a satellite,” he laments. Of course, if this debris is not dangerous, it causes inconvenience and disturbance to astronomical observations.

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