MYSTERY WIRE — Get ready for a theme in UFO sightings this year.
The Starlink satellite project will be sending batches of 60 satellites into orbit on a vigorous schedule — possibly 35 more launches this year. Each time a launch occurs, a stream of satellites could be visible. People are already reporting UFO sightings when they see the phenomenon.
Frank Gonzales told Albuquerque’s KRQE News 13 what he saw earlier this week: “There were lights going across the whole sky. And at first, I’d seen them coming from a bright light over there, and then I started counting them, and I counted like 30.”
Aliens. I thought it was UFOs, I really did. I’ve never seen nothing like it. I thought it was UFOs.Frank Gonzales, Albuquerque resident
Another launch is planned on Monday.
The satellites will eventually form a global “constellation” providing broadband Internet service. Starlink, a division of Elon Musk’s SpaceX, isn’t the only game going. Competitors trying to build similar services include OneWeb, TeleSat and Amazon. Starlink’s service could be commercially available sometime this year.
An experiment that was part of the Jan. 6 SpaceX launch attempted to “mask” satellites so they didn’t appear so bright in the night sky, but that technology is intended to be used when the satellites reach their final orbit — not when they initially stream through the sky soon after launch.
Astronomers have complained that it’s getting more difficult to observe night skies because of satellite “pollution.” Musk’s company it testing techniques to address that concern.
Some astronomy websites include guides on how and where to see the Starlink satellites.
Gonzales isn’t the only one who spotted those lights. On Reddit, someone posted that they saw “strange lights traveling across Albuquerque, about 30 or so.”
Gonzales says he called family members to tell them what he saw. His daughter told him it was likely the SpaceX satellites that were launched from Florida last week.
There have also been reports of these lights in Nebraska and Wyoming, and someone in Taos called KRQE News 13’s newsroom Tuesday night reporting the lights as well.