SAN FRANCISCO, Calif .– A streak of eerie lights moved across the night sky over the Bay Area on Saturday evening, reminiscent of a few scratches on the heads of residents.
Despite recent coverage of UFO sightings in the Golden State, experts say the lights were a lingering effect from a string of low-flying SpaceX Starlink satellites. The company has launched more satellites in recent times as part of an initiative to bring high-speed internet access for people living in hard-to-reach rural areas, according to the program’s website.
SpaceX, led by Elon Musk, launched 52 satellites from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on May 15 and triggered more than 600 of its 12,000 satellites planned, reported the San Francisco Chronicle.
A resident astronomer at Lick Observatory near San Jose told The Chronicle that Saturday night’s observations were likely from a May 9 launch “capturing and reflecting sunlight within hours of or before sunset. the sunrise.”
“Such sightings are more and more common as SpaceX continues to populate its constellation at the fastest,” he added.
The number of lights in rapid succession and their distance from Earth make them easily identifiable as Starlink satellites for those who are used to seeing them, astronomers said.
âThe way you can tell they are Starlink satellites is that they are like a chain of pearls, these lights traveling in the same base orbit, one after the other,â said Dr Richard Fienberg, attorney. release for the American Astronomical Society.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.