A line of bright lights crossed the dark sky in pure science fiction fashion on Sunday evening, and social media began to buzz as people posted comments and asked if anyone else had seen them.
“Did anyone just see a line of lights all moving at the same speed over Seville?” one person enquired on Twitter, and similar questions were asked from Granada, Caleta de Vélez and elsewhere in Malaga province.
Various theories were advanced but no, the strange lights were not planes or meteorites and definitely not spacecraft. The explanation is much more simple.
Once again, multimillionaire Elon Musk was responsible, as this was part of his artificial satellite programme. The lights were 52 Starlink satellites launched from his Space X company from Florida on Saturday.
Satellites such as these have been orbiting the Earth for several years and the aim is to bring Internet to the entire planet, including the most isolated areas.
AstrophysicistJosé María Madiedo said the lights were visible between 9.10 and 9.15pm on Sunday, and the satellites had not actually been above Andalucía but could be seen from a vast distance.
“Over time they will separate from each other and the line will not be as clear to see,” he said. “SpaceX wants to put 40,000 satellites in space altogether so it is probable that we will see lines of lights such as these quite regularly”.