Mystery lights in sky most likely SpaceX-launched satellites

SpaceX launch

A SpaceX rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral on Monday, November 11, carrying 60 Starlink satellites. The satellites, which were released successfully, will eventually form a ‘constellation’ and provide internet service to areas of the world where it’s too expensive, unreliable, or non-existent. Highland Lakes residents reported a line of objects in the night sky November 12, which were most likely the satellites. The objects will eventually move to their intended orbits, making them less visible from Earth by the naked eye. SpaceX photo

A number of Highland Lakes residents reported seeing a line of small objects in the night sky November 12, raising a few eyebrows.

One man described the objects — more than 20 — in the western sky moving in the same direction. He spotted the objects at about 6:15 p.m. Tuesday.

Others took to social media to report seeing the same objects.

In fact, reports of the unknown objects were made across the country.

While some thought it might be a meteor shower and others pondered the possibility of extraterrestrials, it turns out, they were likely satellites.

More precisely, 60 Starlink satellites launched by SpaceX on November 11 from Cape Canaveral in Florida. The satellites were still in relatively low orbit, making them visible to people on the ground. They will eventually reach their intended orbit, where they’ll be less visible.

This is the second SpaceX launch of Starlink satellites. The first was in May.

The Starlink satellite system, which will form a “constellation” made of several thousand satellites, will provide internet service to people living in areas without access or where the service is too expensive or unreliable.

SpaceX, a private space/rocket company, plans a total of 24 launches for the Starlink system. According to a company media release, the services should be available to parts of the United States and Canada after six launches.

SpaceX said the Starlink satellites will completely burn up when they re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere at the end of their life cycle.

editor@thepicayune.com

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