(CBC NEWS) On the night of Nov. 18, Cliff Johnson, an astronomy researcher at Northwestern University, was using the Dark Energy Camera on a telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile to search for nearby dwarf galaxies.
In order to capture the light of faint, distant objects, the camera needs to take long-exposure images.
At first, Johnson noticed the streak of a meteor in one image. And then a plane. Nothing unusual. But then he noticed a train of long, seemingly inexplicable streaks.
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"At first, I was just trying to figure out, 'What is this?' And then I put two and two together and thought, 'Oh right, this is probably Starlink," said Johnson. "And it was the predicted orbit for that whole train."