If you thought UFOs were weird, then check out the clip below. A curator working at a museum in Japan captured the following footage which shows dozens of satellites flying through space in an oddly single-file straight line.
According to Newsweek, the strange clip was captured by Hiratsuka City Museum curator Daichi Fujii. Fujii’s footage was taken in the city of Hiratsuka, Japan on September 5th. The clip reportedly shows a group of “internet-beaming” Starlink satellites built by Elon Musk‘s U.S.-based company SpaceX. The satellites seen in the video are part of SpaceX’s 40th mission of 2022 so far.
In speaking with the outlet, the curator said they captured the clip on a tripod with a high-sensitivity digital camera. He then manually moved the camera to follow the single-file satellites across the sky.
“It’s not the first time I’ve seen a Starlink satellite passing overhead,” Fujii explained. “I’ve seen it many times before.”
The outlet states the museum curator has captured footage previously of another trail of Starlink satellites, last in 2019. Though at that time, he kept the camera motionless rather than tracking the crafts’ trail across the sky.
As strange as the above phenomenon may seem, however, these kinds of launches are becoming increasingly common. Starlink launched its first batch of satellites in May 2019. Since then, the tech company has launched more than 3,000 into space. Currently, there 2,991 of them orbiting the earth.
Pros and Cons of Starlink Satellites
As is the case with any new technology, there’s an upside and a downside about having so many Starlink satellites orbiting the earth.
The most obvious benefit, as highlighted by Newsweek, is that Starlink’s satellites enable people and populations in remote areas that don’t typically have access to cable and fiber internet online access. Additionally, the multitude of satellites also enables customers utilizing Starlink to transfer data relatively quickly. Per the outlet, the satellites sit at an altitude of about 340 miles.
Outside access for extremely remote communities and populations is the obvious major benefit that Starlink has over other means of internet providers. However, the major downside is the growing number of space debris littering our atmosphere and the immediate area around planet earth. More acutely, though, astronomers and casual star gazers alike are worried the growing number of satellites around the planet could potentially disrupt clear views of the night sky.
The outlet states SpaceX has reportedly taken several steps to minimize that risk. One solution includes changing materials on the outside of the satellite to reflect sunlight at different angles. Another sees the company installing sun visors on the crafts that are intended to block sunlight from hitting them in the first place.