Residents all over China were baffled after a video showing 22 of Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites moving across the night sky had them thinking an alien invasion was happening.

An unnamed local spotted the peculiar light formation near Fanjing Mountain, in the south-western Guizhou Province at around 9:10 pm on 16th July.

The resident was apparently out looking to snap a few photos of the clear night sky full of stars that evening when the train of bright spots appeared.

In a video – shared later on Douyin, China’s version of TikTok – the strange light show can be seen gliding across the sky in unison.

The flying lights appear to be coming from the side of the mountain and slowly going towards the centre of the night sky, with each one disappearing after the other while travelling perfectly aligned.

The cameraperson said: “When photographing the starry sky, I found a row of these things moving.

“It feels quite spectacular.”

Photo shows twenty-two connected UFOs in the night sky of Mount Fanjing in Guizhou, China, Sunday, July 16, 2023. (Guizhou.China/AsiaWire)

The video quickly racked up nearly 180,000 likes and over 27,000 comments, with some online users saying it might be a rare UFO sighting, and others suggesting it may have been a drone show.

But keen astronomy enthusiasts went on to claim the train of lights was likely the Starlink satellites of Tesla owner Elon Musk’s SpaceX company making their way to Earth’s lower orbit.

According to SpaceX, the Starlink satellites can be seen from Earth when sunlight reflects off their chassis.

While the company acknowledges that any satellite can be visible at night when illuminated by the sun, they have made revisions to newer generations of Starlink satellites to reduce their brightness.

It is reported that from 2019 to 2024, SpaceX has planned to build a “star chain” network consisting of about 12,000 satellites in space to provide Internet services.

About 1,584 of those will be deployed in low-Earth orbit, some 340 miles above ground.

Because the low-Earth orbit is relatively close, the satellites can be seen directly with the naked eye under certain circumstances when the weather is clear.

Photo shows twenty-two connected UFOs in the night sky of Mount Fanjing in Guizhou, China, Sunday, July 16, 2023. (Guizhou.China/AsiaWire)

According to SpaceX’s plan, the number of Starlink satellites will continue to increase, and the ultimate goal is to launch 42,000 satellites into Earth’s low-earth orbit. This is by far the most ambitious satellite launch plan in human history.

One of the most important functions of Starlink is to provide communication, which can realise calls, network, etc. without base stations, improving any delay and other data.

Many astronomers, however, have expressed concerns about the thousands of Starlink units, worrying they could greatly impact scientific observations.

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