Did You See the Lights in the Sky Over Montana?
"Like a string of bright pearls." That's how the UK Independent described the SpaceX Starlink satellite chain that I caught a glimpse of over Big Sky country on Saturday night. And that's exactly what it looked like. It was crazy to finally see it in person.
I broke out the isolation vehicle (my new camper from Bretz RV) over the weekend, and enjoyed some time on the banks of the Yellowstone River south of Livingston.
On Saturday night we had the perfect night for a campfire next to the river. The sky was incredibly clear, the stars were bright, and there was a sliver of a moon hovering over the outline of the mountains. I had literally just joked with the kids that it was like that part in Star Wars when the Ewoks are throwing their party with the bonfires because the moon and the stars were so bright.
Within minutes, I spotted a string of lights in the sky. "Holy cow, are you guys seeing what I'm seeing?" They were all moving in an arc together, and what looked like the same speed, although they weren't all evenly spaced in between each other. It almost looked like binary code in lights.
How would you describe the movement? I have not verified the below video, but I share it to say that this is what the lights I saw over Montana looked like to me, at least when it comes to the movement pattern (the view was way better than a video could capture with the outline of the mountains, the moon, and the stars):
Starlink Mission latest launch video via SpaceX:
By the way, our friend Michael Foth gave us the heads up back in early April that we might start seeing these lights. Check out his previous story below.
If you're unfamiliar with Elon Musks ambitious Starlink project, here are the basic highlights:
- Space X has been given approval to launch up to 42,000 internet satellites into space.
- The first launch of 60 satellites was on May 24th, 2019.
- There has now been a total of six launches (of 60 satellites each) since, the latest was on March 18th this year.
- The goal of the Starlink program is to provide internet access anywhere on the globe at a fairly reasonable price for customers. This could be good for a lot of rural Montana residents with limited options to access the internet (and potentially millions of global customers with no access).