A string of UFO-like lights could be seen shining in the night sky above Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire last night.
The phenomenon left many Stokies baffled over what the brights lights could be, with many taking to social media to post images of them or wondering if aliens had arrived.
But the lights are far from being an other-worldly invasion, but are actually a batch of cluster of satellites designed to provide low-cost broadband internet service from low Earth orbit.
Entrepreneur Elon Musk’s company Starlink has been launching the satellites since last May and the company has since been given approval to fly 12,000 satellites as part of the project, which could eventually increase to 30,000.
If you missed last night’s show, thankfully there are several other opportunities to see the satellites in the coming weeks.
According to findastarlink.com, the Starlink satellites will be flying over the UK until April 24 -and they are due to make another appearance around 9.58pm tonight and 3.30am in the early hours of tomorrow if skies are clear.
You can find a full list of upcoming sightings here.
Many people in North Staffordshire posted on social media after they witnessed the light show.
In an email, Taylor wrote: “Sitting out in the garden tonight and just watched ‘31 planes’ fly overheard at once.
“Turns out it’s a ‘Starlink’ by SpaceX – Elon Musks’ company in America.”
Another woman posted on Facebook: “Just watched them with the kids…amazing.”
“Counted around 42 of them one after the other”, said a third.
Twitter user Arnold van Sebben spotted the satellites from Amsterdam, tweeting: “Just saw, for the first time, a train of @SpaceX #Starlink satellites crosses in orbit above Amsterdam. It was a bit surreal to see them pass by.”
As well as the UK, there were reports of sightings of the satellites across Western Europe last night.
A video of the string of lights filmed in Kosovo was shared on social media, with others reporting they saw the satellites in Germany, The Netherlands and Spain.
Explaining the plan to bring low-coast internet to the world, Starlink said: “With performance that far surpasses that of traditional satellite internet, and a global network unbounded by ground infrastructure limitations, Starlink will deliver high speed broadband internet to locations where access has been unreliable, expensive, or completely unavailable.”
However, Mr Musk’s project has faced some back-lash.
Some astronomers have argued the SpaceX’s bright satellites could interfere with other observations of the universe.
In a recent study, published in arXiv, researchers led by Stefano Gallozzi, wrote: “Depending on their altitude and surface reflectivity, their contribution to the sky brightness is not negligible for professional ground based observations.
“With the huge amount of about 50,000 new artificial satellites for telecommunications planned to be launched in Medium and Low Earth Orbit, the mean density of artificial objects will be of >1 satellite for square sky degree; this will inevitably harm professional astronomical images.”