Dazzling spectacle to light up sky over Merseyside tonight

Last night people in Merseyside were treated to a dazzling spectacle as a train of lights appeared to shoot across in the sky.

But far from UFOs, they were actually SpaceX satellites which are part of a plan by tech guru Elon Musk's SpaceX company to improve global internet coverage.

However, it's not the only amazing thing you can see in the sky tonight.

There's also the promise of a spectacular meteor shower and the planet Venus should illuminate the sky.

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According to space experts, the current high rate of sightings is due to the satellites being in low orbit after they first launch.

And tonight will be no different, as the satellites are due to light up our skies once again – but this time, if the sky is dark enough, there's a chance you'll see a fireball shooting star.

See below for all of the details

A Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket with a payload of approximately 60 satellites for SpaceX's Starlink broadband network lifts off from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral

What time can you see the Starlink satellites tonight?

At 9.07pm around 27 satellites are set to pass over Merseyside from roughly east to west.

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But the sky will not be fully dark so these may be difficult to spot.

Possibly the best chance comes at 10.36pm, when a train of 39 satellites will pass over from the same direction.

These should be easier to spot as there will be little cloud.

Don't forget to keep your eyes open for meteors in the north easterly sky.

This useful website uses Google Earth and your location to show exactly when they'll pass over your house.

You'll also be able to see them early tomorrow morning, according to findastarlink.com.

  • 3.06am: Starlink 3 will be visible over the UK for two minutes travelling from southeast to east (bright).
  • 4.39am: Starlink 3 will be visible over the UK for five minutes travelling from west to east (bright).
  • 5.01am: Starlink 2 will be visible over the UK for three minutes travelling from south to east (dim).

You can enter your location here to find the days and times they'll be most visible in your area.

You can also track the satellites using the Starlink Starlink app, which automatically calculates when the SpaceX satellites are expected to be visible above your current location.

There are a number of other spectacles also taking place in the sky tonight.

Lyrid meteor shower

Stargazers will want to look up tonight as a dazzling meteor display lights up the night sky.

The best time to look out for the Lyrids is after midnight, in the early hours of Wednesday, according to the Royal Observatory.

Commonly known as shooting stars, meteors are actually caused by particles and fragments shed by comets and asteroids near the constellation Lyra.

The Lyrid meteor shower is a result of debris left in the wake of Comet Thatcher, and occurs annually around mid to late April.

You can read more here.

Spot the planet Venus

If you've recently seen a single bright star in the sky, that's outshone the moon – you're looking at Venus.

According to Astronomy Now, Venus has been visible in the evening sky all through April and will continue into May.

Read More

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You'll be able to see it at its brightest on April 28.

New Moon

Whilst it's not happening tonight, it's worth noting this month's new moon will happen on April 23 at 1.26am.

A new moon is the phase of the moon when it first appears as a slender crescent, shortly after its conjunction with the sun.

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