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Nope, not UFOs this time either: Lights seen in night sky by Utahns are Starlink satellites

Nope, not UFOs this time either: Lights seen in night sky by Utahns are Starlink satellites

(Matt Eastin)



SALT LAKE CITY — It's a bird... it's a plane... it's Starlink! A string of lights was spotted moving across Utah's night sky on Wednesday.

According to Patrick Wiggins, a NASA solar systems ambassador in the state, what Utahns saw was a series of 60 Starlink satellites, which were launched Tuesday.

The 60 Starlink satellites were launched at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. According to a SpaceX press release, the release of the satellites was the ninth launch and landing of this "Falcon 9 first stage booster, which previously launched Telstar 18 VANTAGE, Iridium-8, and six Starlink missions."

SpaceX has been conducting a series of launches. The company conducted another test flight on Wednesday of an early Mars rocket prototype at its South Texas facility.

Utah skywatchers reported a similar occurrence in December when a separate set of Starlink satellites that launched in November appeared in the sky. You can track most satellites here.

It's too soon for the strange celestial sighting to have been another popular guess on Wednesday night, regarding a Chinese rocket that will return to Earth soon. "The largest section of the rocket that launched the main module of China's first permanent space station into orbit is expected to plunge back to Earth as early as Saturday at an unknown location," according to the Associated Press.

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