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HomeFact CheckViral Videos Of “Starlink Satellite Trains Over UP, Pak” Are Actually Of...

Viral Videos Of “Starlink Satellite Trains Over UP, Pak” Are Actually Of Old Sightings

A video has recently gone viral, showing a string of bright lights across the night sky over UP’s Farrukhabad district, while a similar video was also tweeted, claiming it to be a sighting of Starlink satellites from Auraiya, Uttar Pradesh, and Sindh, Pakistan. The viral videos were after several social media users tweeted out clips and photos captured from their phones showing a dotted line of lights across the night sky above various districts in Uttar Pradesh on September 12 evening. The sightings also sparked rumours of UFOs or extra-terrestrials trying to contact humans, while some suggested it to be of a grand celestial event.

The dotted array of lights claimed to have been seen in the night sky above Uttar Pradesh and Pakistan is actually an old sighting of a Starlink satellite train from 2020. 
The dotted array of lights claimed to have been seen in the night sky above Uttar Pradesh and Pakistan is actually an old sighting of a Starlink satellite train from 2020. 

Fact check/Verification

Truth Behind The Strange String Of Lights 

The strange string of lights seen drifting slowly over the night sky attracted a lot of attention from residents across the sub continent and was found to be widely reported by media, including NDTV, Times of India, who attributed the phenomenon to a Starlink-51 satellite train.  

According to a DNA report, the Elon Musk-owned SpaceX on September 4 sent a space tug aloft along with another big batch of its Starlink internet satellites. “A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on the east coast of Florida, carrying 51 Starlink internet satellites to orbit. SpaceX has already sent more than 3,000 Starlink satellites into orbit, in an effort to create a huge constellation for broadband service targeted at remote areas.”

The company founded by Musk has also launched more than 25 Starlink-centric missions in 2022 already with the September 4 launch SpaceX’s 40th of the year.

According to earthsky.org, the Starlink satellites, which provides broadband coverage for high-speed internet access, particularly for rural and remote areas, are bright and people can see them in the night sky. “They create what’s being called a mega constellation, that is, groups of satellites moving together,” the website stated in an article titled “Starlink travels in ‘trains’ across our night skies”.

Sightings similar to the array of lights seen in UP’s night sky were also reported from Arizona, USA, last week and even over Punjab’s Pathankot in December 2021, with experts confirming it to be of satellites in low-earth orbits.

Old Videos Shared As Recent 

Newschecker first did a reverse image search of keyframes of the video in the Facebook post, which led us to this Youtube video, titled “Starlink satellites over Poland. Starlink Train”.

A comparison of keyframes of the viral video, along with the ominous background sound observed in both videos, confirmed that the same video is being circulated now. The description of the video uploaded on Aug 11, 2020 by Night Sky channel, stated, “Starlink cosmic train passes over Poland! Flight satellites Starlink at night 10.08.2020 at 3:13. Full flight from west to east. Starlink Train admire while satellites are close together.”

The dotted array of lights claimed to have been seen in the night sky above Uttar Pradesh and Pakistan is actually an old sighting of a Starlink satellite train from 2020. 
Screenshot of viral video
The dotted array of lights claimed to have been seen in the night sky above Uttar Pradesh and Pakistan is actually an old sighting of a Starlink satellite train from 2020. 
Screenshot of Youtube video

The second video, claimed to be of a Starlink satellite sighting from Auraiya, Uttar Pradesh, and Sindh, Pakistan, was also traced, via a reverse image search of keyframes, to a Youtube video. The video, titled “Starlink Satellites train seen in the sky”, was uploaded on April 30, 2020. Posted by a channel named Viral Video Lab, the description of the video states, “This video shows the Starlink satellites train seen from earth. Starlink is the name for a satellite constellation that was constructed by Elon Musk in order to provide fast satellite Internet access. The constellation will consist of several thousands of small starlink satellites in low Earth orbit, which  will work together.”

The dotted array of lights claimed to have been seen in the night sky above Uttar Pradesh and Pakistan is actually an old sighting of a Starlink satellite train from 2020. 
Screenshot of viral video
The dotted array of lights claimed to have been seen in the night sky above Uttar Pradesh and Pakistan is actually an old sighting of a Starlink satellite train from 2020. 
Screenshot of Youtube video

Conclusion

The dotted array of lights claimed to have been seen in the night sky above Uttar Pradesh and Pakistan is actually an old sighting of a Starlink satellite train from 2020. 

Result: Partly False

Sources
Youtube video, August 11, 2020
Youtube video, April 30, 2020
Times of India report, September 13, 2022
NDTV report, September 13, 2022


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