A professor at the University of Washington says the lights observed over western Washington on Tuesday were actually Starlink satellites from the launch of SpaceX earlier in the day.
Seattle – It looks like satellites from the SpaceX launch danced in the night sky over Western Washington on Tuesday, attracting the attention of star lovers once again.
People shared photos and videos on social media shortly after 9pm on Tuesday, showing a long strip of lights moving across the sky. People report seeing lights from Bellevue, Puyallup, Covington and even Portland, Ore.
The National Weather Service tweeted that the lights appeared to be related to the launch of the StarX satellite by SpaceX from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Tuesday. The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched 60 Starlink satellites into orbit, according to the SpaceX website.
Dr. James Davenport, an assistant professor in the Department of Astronomy at the University of Washington, explained on Tuesday night why people see satellites.
“What we actually saw were 60 Starlink satellites that were just deployed this afternoon and they were still in low orbit and still grouped, so we call this the Starlink train,” Davenport said. “You see it as a small chain of satellites that are close together and reflect sunlight back to us.”
As of 11pm on Tuesday, KING 5 had not received any news from SpaceX about the apparent detection of satellites over Western Washington.
In March, a strikingly similar scenario unfolded in the night sky, which turned out to be the wreckage of a SpaceX rocket returning from orbit.
SpaceX, owned by Elon Musk, launched this Falcon 9 rocket from Stage 2 on March 4, and the wreckage was spotted in the sky on the night of March 25. The rocket was supposed to go out of orbit over the ocean, but landed over the northwest instead. A piece of this rocket was actually found in Grant County days later.