Aussies stunned by mysterious 'meteorites' in morning sky

Nick Whigham
·Assistant News Editor
·3-min read

They light up the night sky in a rather majestic fashion. Appearing as a circular train of stars, some Aussies have been left stumped by the mysterious lights after spotting them this week. 

The more imaginative among us could be excused for thinking the lights were otherworldly, perhaps even alien visitors. 

After spotting the mysterious appearance this week, one Melbourne resident went online to ask if others had seen it.

"Anyone else see the line of meteorites at around 5.15 this morning?" they asked the Melbourne Reddit forum.

Row of lights seen in the night sky above Melbourne.
Many Aussies were wondering what this train of lights was on Tuesday morning. Source: Reddit

Another man took to Twitter looking for answers, suggesting it "was some kind of military exercise flying in formation".

Meanwhile, a number of people called into the ABC on Tuesday morning to find out what was going on.

"Just walking the dog and spotted them moving north-east over Newcastle … like a string of fairy lights," one caller, named Paul, said.

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Truth behind mystery lights in sky

While they could be mistaken for some orderly shooting stars, the celestial phenomena is the result of one of the world's richest men: Elon Musk. 

They are in effect, internet satellites. 

The Billionaire founder of SpaceX has been launching satellites into orbit in recent years as part of the private company's Starlink program which aims to blanket the world with affordable satellite broadband.

They're not new but are only visible from time to time, and certainly pique peoples' imagination when they're spotted. 

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The satellites seen this week were reportedly launched last week by Starlink and are set to provide low-orbit broadband to parts of Victoria and southern NSW. 

The first Australian customers signed up earlier this year as the man behind PayPal and Tesla looks set to shake up the regional broadband market as a challenger to NBN Sky Muster. 

There is a long-standing website called Find Starlink which tracks the Starlink launches and allows people to log their sightings of the satellite trains. 

"Starlink trains are not very visible right now," the service currently says.

"This is because Starlink's company has reduced their brightness (to avoid disturbing astronomers).

"But a few reports of successful sightings come in every day.

"The next Starlink launch is planned in a few weeks, and will be very bright for 3-4 days after that. Good luck!"

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