15:22 GMT +321 January 2020
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    The strange night spectacle with what some described as a "string of pearls" or "fairy lights" in the sky prompted Berliners to search for answers on the Internet, googling "UFO Sighting" and "Meteors" or sharing their concerns with themed organisations, local media report.

    The string of lights, which floated over the German capital Berlin and neighbouring Brandenburg over the past few nights and early mornings, have worried locals. As the local outlet Morgen Post reports, Google searches for "UFO Sighting", "Meteor" or "Meteorite" spiked while platforms dedicated to UFO sightings registered numerous reports about what users described as a "string of pearls" or "fairy lights".

    The Centrale Exploration Network of Extraordinary Sky Phenomenon (Cenap) noted that they had recently received an unusual number of calls.

    "The calls have increased greatly. Many women and men are worried or surprised by the lights and their form,” its representative Hansjürgen Köhler told the outlet.

    However, the explanation for this unusual night show is not in fact other-worldly. It turns out that it was not aliens who lit up the sky, worrying locals, but billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX. The mysterious fireballs were its satellites, which the company launched in mid-November as part of the global programme Starlink, which began in May and is designed to provide high-speed broadband Internet worldwide.

    In fact, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) warned already last week that Musk’s satellites, weighing more than 200 kilograms each, will be seen as " fairy lights" over Germany. The European Space Agency (ESA) also confirmed that "over the past few days, Starlink satellites have been visible very clearly over Germany".

    Although an alien invasion and any danger for Berliners is off the table, the Starlink satellites can still pose a threat to other celestial bodies.

    "The danger of a collision with other celestial bodies exists," a spokesman for the Starkenburg Observatory in Heppenheim said.

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    Tags:
    satellites, SpaceX, Starlink, Elon Musk, UFO, Berlin, Germany
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