Stargazers across the country have been spotting trains of lights travelling across the night sky recently, but what are they?

The dazzling display is the formation of SpaceX Starlink satellites, a scheme aiming to improve global internet coverage.

Starlink has about 5,000 satellites in space around the globe and the technology is being used as part of a UK Government trial to connect rural homes and isolated areas to better internet service.

The satellites beam broadband signals to areas without strong cable connections.

The project launched in 2019 and can be seen with the naked eye.

How does Starlink work?

Starlink satellites orbit much closer to Earth than traditional satellites.

While a normal satellite internet service will orbit around 35,000km from Earth, Starlink satellites orbit just 550km from Earth, providing a stronger signal.

They say: “Starlink is the world's first and largest satellite constellation using a low Earth orbit to deliver broadband internet capable of supporting streaming, online gaming, video calls and more.

“Leveraging advanced satellites and user hardware coupled with our deep experience with both spacecraft and on-orbit operations, Starlink delivers high-speed, low-latency internet to users all over the world.

“Most satellite internet services come from single geostationary satellites that orbit the planet at 35,786 km.

“As a result, the round trip data time between the user and satellite—also known as latency—is high, making it nearly impossible to support streaming, online gaming, video calls or other high data rate activities.

“Starlink is a constellation of thousands of satellites that orbit the planet much closer to Earth, at about 550km, and cover the entire globe. Because Starlink satellites are in a low orbit, latency is significantly lower—around 25 ms vs 600+ ms.”