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July 27, 2021
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String of lights in Utah sky turn out to be satellites, not UFOs

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah skywatchers saw a string of lights in the night sky on Thursday night, but they turned out to be Starlink satellites, not aliens moving monoliths.

According to Patrick Wiggins, a NASA solar systems ambassador in the state, what Utahns saw were Starlink-1871 satellites, which were launched on Nov. 24.

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You can track the satellites here. The lights were visible in the Western sky approximately 13 degrees above the horizon and lasted for several minutes, Wiggins said.

Starlink satellites are constructed by Elon Musk’s company SpaceX, and are meant to provide satellite internet access. SpaceX has launched several of the Starlink satellites, creating what they call a constellation. According to a SpaceX press release, the constellation will consist of thousands of small satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO), working in combination with ground transceivers.

Ashley Fredde

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