CORONAVIRUS

Resources

What is that?! SWFL residents spot object in the sky, likely satellites from Starlink launch

A shooting star or a trace of a satellite?

Either way, many of you have asked us: What’s that object in the sky?

The photo above was taken by WINK News viewer David Bentley of Charlotte County who said the streak moved across the sky for more than an hour just before sunrise Wednesday morning.

We took your photos to Calusa Nature System and Planetarium Education Coordinator Rebecca Wadman.

“My best guess would be that its part of the recent Space X Starlink launch,” she said.

On Monday, Space X launched 60 satellites into the sky as a part of a mission to build a giant constellation of satellites.

Wadman says due to the fact that the images are slow-moving, it’s likely a collection of satellites versus a meteor.

“A meteor is really fast. It’s like a blink and you’ll miss that sort of thing, whereas a satellite is a lot slower where it goes across,” she said.

The photos also caught the attention of our very own WINK News Meteorologist Matt Devitt.

“We’ve had cases of Starlink satellites visible at night,” he said. “It’s been this way, like this. Sure enough, that’s exactly what we had from one of our viewers getting ready heading out to work and saw this unusual sight of one after another like a train: these individual satellites being illuminated at night by the sun.”

That makes them easier to spot.

“They’re bright,” Wadman said. “They’re brighter than most other satellites because of how recently they launched and how their launch process works. They’re closer to Earth than a lot of other satellites are.”

And, she says, you’ll likely see them again. “They should dim in the next couple days as they go into a higher orbit.”

Did you see any of the satellites? Share your photos in the comments of the Facebook post below:

Reporter:Brea Hollingsworth
Writer:Briana Harvath
Do you see a typo or an error? Let us know.
SHARE