Earlier this week, SpaceX successfully launched its first 60 StarLink satellites into orbit around the Earth. An amateur astronomer in the Netherlands caught sight of them orbiting Earth after deployment, and captured the scene on video.
Astronomer Dr. Marco Langbroek noted on his blog that he calculated where the satellites would be orbiting, and waited with his camera. The result is a spectacular one: a string of bright dots flying across the sky, prompting some people to report that they saw UFOs.
Langbroek shot the video with a “WATEC 902H low-light-level surveillance camera, equipped with a Canon FD 1.8/50 mm lens,” and counted at least 56 distinct objects. He noted that the “train” will make 2-3 passes each night, and will eventually spread out into their destination orbits.
The satellites are part of SpaceX’s more ambitious projects: a massive fleet of satellites orbiting between 340 and 208 miles up that will provide internet connectivity around the Earth. SpaceX’s launch earlier this week is the first of many that will eventually launch nearly 12,000 units into orbit in the coming years.