What was that object in the sky over southern Utah last night?

Oct 28, 2022, 3:50 PM | Updated: Nov 18, 2022, 6:10 pm

ST. GEORGE, Utah — Southern Utah residents reported a heavenly-looking light moving in the sky Thursday evening.

In fact, KSL received over a dozen photos and videos from readers, listeners and viewers asking about the mysterious light. A handful asked if it was a comet, or, possibly some other celestial object.

Turns out, it was far less mysterious than the weather balloon that caught Salt Lake County residents by surprise in August. What those in and around the St. George area saw was SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, which launched from the Vandenberg Space Force Base near the California coast.

SpaceX confirmed that it launched 53 of its Starlink satellites “to low-Earth orbit” shortly before 7:15 p.m. about 15 minutes before southern Utah residents began reporting seeing it in the sky.

“This was the eighth launch and landing for this Falcon 9 first-stage booster, which previously launched Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich, DART and now six Starlink missions,” SpaceX posted online.

SpaceX began launching Starlink satellites in 2019, touting the results as the “world’s first and largest satellite constellation.” The satellites aim to offer “high-speed, low-latency internet” to people all over the globe. The company also has a goal to use the satellites to help end the world’s “mobile dead zones” by as early as 2023, CNBC reported earlier this year.

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What was that object in the sky over southern Utah last night?