LOCAL NEWS

Streak Of Lights Seen Over Utah From SpaceX’s Starlink Satellites

May 6, 2021, 6:50 AM
A link of Starlink satellites is seen over Tooele County on May 5, 2021. (Rob Hopper)...
A link of Starlink satellites is seen over Tooele County on May 5, 2021. (Rob Hopper)
(Rob Hopper)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A string of lights that streaked across northern Utah’s skies Wednesday night came from a recent batch of Starlink satellites, according to Patrick Wiggins, NASA’s solar system ambassador to Utah.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX sent 60 flat-paneled broadband satellites to orbit onboard the Falcon 9 on May 4.

Wiggins said the satellites were seen in a line over Utah Wednesday night until they entered the Earth’s shadow.

Wiggins said he received several reports of the lights “moving slowly across the sky and then ‘mysteriously’ disappearing.”

“What was actually happening was these Starlink satellites, in orbit, coming toward the east and running into the shadow of the Earth,” Wiggins said. “Of course, they don’t give off light by themselves, they only reflect light. So as soon as they went into the shadow of the Earth, they were no longer visible from down here.”

The lights will be visible again Thursday night around 10:20 p.m.

The 60 satellites are part of Starlink’s constellation that could swell to over 30,000 satellites in orbit. Over 1,300 satellites are already in orbit.

The company’s goal is to deliver high-speed internet to anyone on the planet.

Some KSL viewers were concerned the lights could have been a large Chinese rocket that is out of control and set to reenter Earth’s atmosphere this weekend.

The Pentagon is tracking that rocket, but its “exact entry point into the Earth’s atmosphere” can’t be pinpointed until within hours of reentry, according to a statement from Defense Department spokesperson Mike Howard.

It is expected to reenter Earth’s atmosphere sometime Saturday, but Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at the Astrophysics Center at Harvard University, told CNN that the situation is “not the end of days.”

“I don’t think people should take precautions. The risk that there will be some damage or that it would hit someone is pretty small — not negligible, it could happen — but the risk that it will hit you is incredibly tiny. And so I would not lose one second of sleep over this on a personal threat basis,” he said.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Riders leaving the new shuttle. (KSL-TV)...
Shelby Lofton

Riders take advantage of new ski shuttle service for resorts in both Cottonwood Canyons

A new pilot shuttle program is offering skiers and snowboarders a new way to resorts in Big and Little Cottonwood.
19 hours ago
(File) Police Lights responding to a scene....
Michael Houck

Salt Lake man dead after accidental drowning in Millard County, police say

Authorities say a Salt Lake man has died after an accidental drowning incident late Saturday evening in Millard County.
19 hours ago
FILE...
Michael Houck

Utah juvenile services staff member arrested for sexually abusing housed juvenile

A man who worked in a Utah juvenile services facility was arrested for frequently sexually abusing one of the facility's juveniles.
19 hours ago
a motorhome is on its side in the middle of a wet freeway...
Brooke Williams

Motorhome rollover blocks SB I-15 in Farmington

A motorhome blocked the interstate when it rolled over on its side.
19 hours ago
The Wasatch County Sheriff's Office and Jail in Heber City is pictured on Friday, March 12, 2021. (...
Brooke Williams

Heber man surrendered with firearm after hours-long SWAT barricade

A man in Heber City was barricaded by SWAT and police officers after he made threats while intoxicated, intending bodily harm with a firearm.
19 hours ago
Students at Juan Diego Catholic School (KSL-TV)...
Michael Locklear

Private schools celebrate state funding, expect ‘significant uptick in enrollment’

Utah’s private schools are celebrating that they’ll receive state funding for the first time through a new school choice program.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t Let a Ransomware Attack Get You Down | Protect Your Workplace Today with Cyber Insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Streak Of Lights Seen Over Utah From SpaceX’s Starlink Satellites