Have You Seen Starlink Soaring Across the Colorado Sky?
Certain areas of Colorado are spectacular for stargazing, offering unobstructed views of the expansive night sky. In places with little light pollution, people can often see the Milky Way, Big Dipper, and other constellations, as well as tons of tiny stars, without needing binoculars or a telescope. Shooting stars, meteors showers, and supermoons are other exciting sights to see while staring up during the dark of night.
Recently, another unique object has been catching the eye of stargazers who happen to be looking up when it's flying by.
Lately, Coloradans have been getting glimpses of what appears to be a train of bright lights traveling in a straight line across the night sky.
Although these lights look somewhat extraterrestrial, they are part of a vast fleet of satellites constantly orbiting the Earth. These Starlink satellites are responsible for providing internet coverage on a global scale. However, their unique appearance has prompted numerous UFO-sighting reports.
According to Space.com, the long lines of lights are only visible shortly after launching. These launches happen several times a week. We can see Starlink satellites only when they reflect sunlight; they do not possess light of their own. Once the satellites climb to their operating altitude of 340 miles, they disperse and become more difficult to differentiate from surrounding stars in the sky.
If the satellites fail to make orbit, they return to the Earth burning up as they go. This is a rare occurrence, but has happened before.
Starlink is the brainchild of SpaceX. It's the world's first and largest satellite constellation using a low Earth orbit to deliver broadband internet capable of supporting streaming, online gaming, video calls, and more.
Each satellite features a compact, flat-panel design. The high-speed internet service begins at $150 a month and allows users to access while in motion. It can be installed inside vehicles, including campers and RVs.
As of May 31, 2023, there are 4,198 Starlink satellites in orbit, of which 3,542 are operational. The operation may grow to have as many as 42,000 satellites at some point.
A website tracks the Starlink satellites, giving people around the world the chance to watch for them in their respective regions when visible.