Is That a Strange Sky String of Lights? The Likely Cause of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Satellite Launch


Is That a Strange Sky String of Lights? The Likely Cause of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Satellite Launch

A dazzling strand of lights was seen crossing the sky at roughly the same time on Thursday morning, according to several accounts. Unfortunately, it wasn’t aliens.

According to, the string of lights was most likely created by a group of Starlink satellites that had been launched the previous afternoon.

Elon Musk’s rocket company SpaceX operates a satellite network known as Starlink. Its goal is to provide internet access to anyone who is willing to pay for it.

Because the satellites are launched in groups—usually 60 at a time—they tend to orbit the Earth in straight lines.

When the sun’s light reflects off these lines of satellites, they may be seen by the naked eye from the ground—a fascinating sight for someone who doesn’t know what they are.

After seeing the lights moving overhead, some individuals rushed to Twitter to ask what they were. The reports began arriving at 12:30 a.m. EDT on Thursday morning from a variety of sources.

“Anyone else in Salt Lake City notice that band of white lights traverse the sky approximately 5—10 minutes ago?” one person wondered.

“It looks like a strand of lights being carried by a plane,” wrote another.

Anyone else in #SaltLakeCity notice the white light band that across the sky around 5-10 minutes ago? Sugar House and East Millcreek were visited.

— Scott Duehlmeier (@Paco_Belle) May 27, 2021

Does anyone know what the string of lights in the sky was at about 10:25pm? See them from Riverton @KSLcom @fox13 @KUTV2News #utah #SaltLakeCity

— Cassidy Larsen (@CassidyKLarsen) May 27, 2021

#Astrophotography I was outside tonight aligning my telescope when I noticed this series of very bright lights moving W to E about 75 degrees up in the sky. It’s a tight linear cluster of lights about as bright as Venus. I assume it’s a group of satellites, but awfully bright.

— Declan O’Riordan, MD FAAP (@DrDeclanInIdaho) May 27, 2021

Alright twitter, help me out here. Just witnessed this in the sky.

Too slow for a shooting star (doesn’t twinkle or flicker either) Not falling space debris, as. This is a brief summary.


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