Strange Lights Seen Over Auckland, New Zealand
It’s 4th February 2020, I was going for my nightly walk and I was walking along Mangere bridge walkway going towards the Old Mangere bridge town centre. When I looked to my right and up in the sky was a trail of lights.
I thought to myself am I seeing things, So I took another look and yes it was a long trail of lights around 40 to 60 lights.
I then saw a security guard approaching me and I asked him did you see the lights in the sky?
And he said yes there have been reports of people seeing these strange lights all over New Zealand and people have been commenting all over Facebook about seeing these strange lights.
I decided to head home as I got home I thought I would do some research into these strange lights mystery.
I found out that the strange lights that people are seeing all over New Zealand are actually Satellites.
The Satellites are part of the Starlink program and been constructed by SpaceX an American company which is owned by Elon Musk.
Starlink program is to provide satellite Internet access. The constellation will consist of thousands of mass-produced small satellites, working in combination with ground transceivers. SpaceX also plans to sell some of the satellites for military, scientific or exploratory purposes.
As of January 2020, SpaceX has deployed 242 satellites. They plan to deploy 60 more per Falcon 9 launch, with launches as often as every three weeks after late 2019. In total, nearly 12,000 satellites will be deployed by the mid-2020s, with a possible later extension to 42,000.
The initial 12,000 satellites are planned to orbit in three orbital shells: first placing approximately 1,600 in a 550-kilometre-altitude (340 miles) shell, then approximately 2,800 Ku– and Ka-band spectrum satellites at 1,150 km (710 mi) and approximately 7,500 V-band satellites at 340 km (210 mi). The commercial operation could begin in 2020.
Concerns have been raised about the long-term danger of space junk resulting from placing thousands of satellites in orbits above 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) and a possible impact on astronomy, although SpaceX is reportedly attempting to solve the issue.
The total cost of the decade-long project to design, build and deploy the constellation was estimated by SpaceX in May 2018 to be about US$10 billion.
Product development began in 2015, with the first two prototype test-flight satellites launched in February 2018.
The second set of test satellites and the first large deployment of a piece of the constellation occurred on 24 May 2019 when the first 60 operational satellites were launched.
The SpaceX satellite development facility in Redmond, Washington, houses the Starlink research, development, manufacturing and on-orbit control operations.