A mysterious convoy of lights strewn across the darkening evening sky in the waning hours of Israel’s 72nd Independence Day sparked feverish speculation.
Were they military aircraft taking a circuitous route to an airstrike in Syria or Iran? Or, rather less probably, aliens from another world?
The procession of dozens of bright streaks traveled from the northwest to the southeast on Wednesday evening, visible from nearly everywhere in the country.
Israel’s Space Agency and Air Force were called in and began investigating.
They soon discovered the culprit: tech billionaire Elon Musk.
The lights were some 60 Starlink satellites, the latest batch launched by Musk’s SpaceX firm five days earlier, on April 22, as part of an effort to create a spaceborne globe-spanning internet service provider that can connect the most distant parts of the planet to the worldwide network.
Following its first satellite launch in February 2018, the completed network, expected to be fully deployed by 2022, will include some 1,600 satellites surrounding the Earth in a low orbit.