What were those lights streaking through the sky? Starlink satellites spotted in the Lehigh Valley
- On Friday, SpaceX launched 22 Starlink satellites from Cape Canaveral, Florida, adding to the low-Earth orbit constellation
- The satellites were visible over parts of the Lehigh Valley on Saturday night
- Starlink aims to create a global internet satellite constellation, already serving over 60 countries
BETHLEHEM TWP., Pa. — If you saw an unknown object flying overhead Saturday night, don't chalk it up to unidentified anomalous phenomena, or UAPs.
Instead it was a Starlink satellite launched by SpaceX.
On Friday night, Space X announced that shortly after 11:30 p.m., 22 Starlink satellites were launched by the Falcon 9 rocket to low-Earth orbit from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Social media was abuzz Saturday night and Sunday with sightings of a strange string of lights streaking across the Lehigh Valley sky.
Erica Marie, a Bethlehem resident who took a photo of the streaking lights, said she was “confused” at first sight.
“We were confused because we had never seen anything like this… they continued to move into the sky and then disappeared behind clouds.”Bethlehem resident Erica Marie
“I was sitting [on] the front porch of my friend's house in Bethlehem Township chatting and we saw lights come from above her arbor vitae trees,” she said in an interview. “We were confused because we had never seen anything like this… they continued to move into the sky and then disappeared behind clouds.”
She posted her photo to the Facebook group Complainers of Bethlehem, to discuss what it was. “Not a complaint… but did anyone see a string of lights in the sky just now?!?! started low and moved quickly up into the sky….,” she said.
The tracking website FindStarlink.com confirmed that the satellites were visible in the Bethlehem area shortly after 8:30 p.m. Saturday.
They'll be visible again Sunday night for about four minutes, starting at 8:37 p.m., according to the website. (That, of course, is dependent on cloud cover — and storms are in the forecast).
“I really had no idea that was a thing and I’ve never seen them before so it was pretty cool, knowing that’s what it was,” Erica Marie said.
Starlink is an internet services program developed by Elon Musk’s aerospace company Space X. It's designed to provide low-cost internet to remote locations and provides coverage to over 60 countries, according to the company.
“This was the fifth flight for the first stage booster supporting this mission, which previously launched Crew-6, SES O3b mPOWER, and now three Starlink missions,” the Space X website reports.
Friday's launch was SpaceX's 64th orbital mission of 2023, according to Space.com.
In May, LehighValleyNews.com reported that 56 Starlink satellites had been launched as residents witnessed the same strings of lights streaming through the clouds. Learn more about it here.