SARATOGA SPRINGS, Utah, May 5, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — A mysterious string of lights appeared in the sky above northern Utah Wednesday night, causing one man who captured the display on his cell phone to call the vision “nothing short of astonishing.”
Saratoga Springs resident Phil Galindo told Gephardt Daily he was driving into his neighborhood near Ring Road about 10:35 p.m. when he was momentarily boggled by what he saw in the evening sky.
“It was bright, incredibly bright. It looked like the headlights from 100 cars driving in a straight line … only at 80,000 feet … and ascending,” Galindo said, a touch of wonder in his voice.
“I have served in Afghanistan. It reminded me of tracer fire from an F-16 or a machine gun. It was astonishing,” he said.
Kylie Wallace, 17, said she was walking outside her home in Roy when she was struck by the vision of a string of white lights passing through the sky.
“My first thoughts were of aliens,” Kylie said, with a bit of a nervous laugh. “It was a seriously interesting moment. It reminded me of a time I was driving with my dad and we saw some weird stuff and we thought for sure it was a UFO.”
By all accounts, the startling celestial vision which was craning necks and dropping jaws Wednesday night was generated by a cluster of satellites carried into orbit a day earlier by a SpaceX Falcon-9 rocket, part of the new Starlink mission.
According to a statement by the Elon Musk-owned company, “On Tuesday, May 4 at 3:01 p.m. EDT, SpaceX launched 60 Starlink satellites from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This 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 says the new satellites, which are designed to bring a faster Internet service to more people worldwide, are currently clustered together in a low earth orbit and plainly visible when reflecting the sun at a certain angle. Stargazers refer to the stunning visual effect as the Starlink train.
Wednesday’s Starlink train was visible across the western U.S. with reported sightings in Arizona to Utah.