SpaceX Starlink satellites seen over Argentina last night -many thought it was a UFO fleet!

SpaceX Starlink satellites seen over Argentina last night -many thought it was a UFO fleet!

Image Source: El Liberal / Estilo K

Last night, at the Capital of Santiago del Estero in Argentina, a group of athletes who had completed their outdoor training routine reported the passage of a UFO fleet. They contacted an Argentinian news agency, called El Liberal,  to report that the UFO fleet was going North to Southeast and the bright objects were cruising the night sky silently in perfect line. They also detailed that in the middle of the train-like formation was what appeared to be the "mother ship" because it looked brighter than the rest.

As the hours passed, Argentinian social media networks reported more of these UFO train sightings last night in other locations far from the Capital, in zones such as Northwest of Argentina, Catamarca, and Tucumán. The testimonies were all similar.

Several sightings were also reported across the world from Argentina over Spain in Europe. Check out the beautiful footage of the "UFO" fleet over Spain:

These UFO light formations are actually SpaceX's newly launched satellites. Starlink is part of SpaceX plan to build a giant constellation of thousands of satellites that will form a global broadband internet network, that will beam affordable, high-speed internet all over the planet. Internet connection from space is more reliable than terrestrial internet infrastructure. Starlink will be able to beam its signal from space at the speed of light to areas on Earth where internet is too expensive, unreliable or non-existent. It will also help during natural disasters if terrestrial systems get destroyed.

On Monday, January 6, SpaceX launched their third batch of 60 small satellites into low Earth orbit during their Starlink-2 mission. Currently, there's a total of 180 Starlink satellites, out of the 12,000 they plan to deploy. Read more: SpaceX successfully launched and landed a pre-flown rocket deploying Starlink into orbit.

The 180 transformed SpaceX into the private company with the world's largest constellation of satellites in low Earth orbit. The newly launched 60 satellites, will eventually diminish their brightness as they increase their altitude in the coming weeks. Each satellite has integrated ion thrusters that will move them into an altitude of 550 kilometers where they should be a bit less bright to the naked eye. 

Approximately 3 hours ago, this video was captured of the Starlink constellation over  Spain.


SpaceX did not expect that Starlink would be too bright and are actively working in figuring out how to further diminish their brightness. During last weeks mission, 1 out of 60 satellites featured an experimental anti-reflectivity coating that aims to see if it makes the flat satellite unit less bright. Engineers will test the coating first to see if its anti-reflectivity properties may affect the satellite's performance before applying it to all satellites. SpaceX President, Gwynne Shotwell, said they do not want to interfere with astronomers' scientific observations, that the company will eventually figure out how to make Starlink less bright. "The satellites' reflectivity was a surprise, she told reporters, "Astronomy is one of a few things that gets little kids excited about space. There are a lot of adults that get excited, too, who either depend on it for their living or for entertainment. But we want to make sure we do the right thing, to make sure little kids can look through their telescopes. It’d be cool for them to see a Starlink. I think that’s cool. But they should be looking at Saturn and the moon." SpaceX will eventually find a good solution to diminish Starlink's brightness. 

The company aims to begin offering Starlink broadband internet service in Northern United States and Canada by mid-2020. Global coverage will be achieved until 2021.



About the Author

Evelyn Arevalo

Evelyn Arevalo

Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.

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