Many citizens in the Ozarks reported noticing a string of bright glow in the sky on Thursday night, posting photos of a possible UFO sighting. However, the real justification is much less extraterrestrial, they’re a Starlink satellite constellation. SpaceX, which is possessed by Elon Musk, initiated the satellites from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Thursday, sending the internet to those rural areas.
The motive why people have such a great view of them is that Starlink satellites roam much closer to earth than other kinds. But, the country is sure to see more of them. Soon enough, the satellites will spread out and no longer form a line. “They are part of a satellite constellation,” explained Dr Sarah Morrison, a Missouri State University Assistant Professor of Astronomy. “They share a very similar orbit so when you’re looking in the night sky at the right time they will appear as a string of lights.”
The best time to view the lights is generally between 9-10 p.m., just after sunset, but you can also trace them online. “They don’t produce their light, they just reflect sunlight so you have to be looking when the sunlight is still able to hit them,” added Dr Greg Ojakangas, an Associate Professor of Physics at Drury University. “Later in the evening at their altitudes, they’re completely in the dark.”
Dr Ojakangas has operated with NASA researching space residue for more than 20 years and warns that while they aren’t as dangerous as a caravan of unknown flying objects, there may still be a reason for fear. “Among other environmental problems we are entering a time in history when the likelihood of collisions in space are greatly increasing,” Ojakangas added. “In the last Space X launch, the crew in the capsule was told to put their spacesuits on because as they were climbing out of the gravity of the earth there was a probability that they were going to hit something. There’s a lot of stuff up there, something like 26,000 large objects bigger than a cellphone as well as hundreds of thousands of smaller ones, and they’re all moving very fast.”