Residents across New Zealand last night were reporting an “extremely odd” string of 30 to 40 lights in a straight line crossing the sky from west to east.
Anyone who missed the spectacular train of Starlink3 Satellites that crossed the sky in a single file row last night will have another opportunity to see them tonight, according to Tauranga Astronomical Society president Dave Greig.
The lead satellite in this ‘string of pearls’ is expected to come into view about 10.05pm followed by all the rest.
The train of lights that people are witnessing from their front decks are the 60 satellites from Elon Musk’s SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida last week.
“Starlink3 will be rising in the West North-West and crossing the sky low over the South Western horizon before setting in the South East,” says Dave. “It won’t be a good pass as they will be quite low – 19 degrees elevation as seen from Tauranga – and the maximum brightness is predicted to be Mag 4.5 which is getting quite dim and hard to see.”
Last night WeatherWatch received numerous reports of people seeing the satellites from around NZ with some people understanding what the lights were and others worrying.
“Saw dozens of lights traveling while out hunting tonight at 10.08pm. Was pretty freaked out and tbh I thought I had seen a UFO. Turns out it was actually SpaceX launched 60 satellites,” writes one.
Another wondered if it was a UFO, writing: “Around 10pm 1/2/20 dad came racing in telling me “come check this out” I followed him out to see trail of about 30 bright lights close to each other then another 20 or 30 less bright lights further apart in straight line then saw another one follow down side of the path to stop and then join in behind last one.”
Harvey Gradon was watching the display on Saturday night from his home in Ohauiti.
“It was quite low. I went outside just after ten past ten and saw them. They were there for a good five minutes, and there were close to 30 lights I’d say, although I didn’t count them.
“I went out again about ten minutes later and could see other lights – about four or five different sets going across the sky.”