LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — After a strange string of lights sent Las Vegas searching for answers, 8 News Now spoke with a local expert to explain the strange orbs that streaked across the sky Wednesday and Thursday night.
“I never seen nothing like that, nope,” Carlos Murgiua said of the lights. “Everybody was terrified when we saw them.”
“It was so weird,” Jasmine Rideaux added. “It was like it was fake.”
Some called them planes, while others believed they were from out of this world, but they were actually a cluster of satellites called Starlink.
Local astronomy expert Jason Steffen, who works in the UNLV Physics & Astronomy Department, said the constellation, launched by Elon Musk and SpaceX, is creating a broadband internet network in the sky.
“It has the goal of opening the internet to a wider variety of people,” Steffen explained. “Who otherwise don’t have access to it.”
It’s a remarkable achievement, but with technology adding up, he said research will take a hit, as streaking satellites create more light pollution.
“High tech instruments that are passing through the field of view,” Steffen said. “That kind of ruins the images you’re taking that make it hard to do for an analysis.”
However, he still calls this a step in the right direction for humanity.
In addition, those who witnessed it said they were thrilled to witness this moment in time.
“I was like wow, we really got to see it with our own eyes,” Rideaux concluded. “A historic moment, and history lesson as well.”
Steffen said Starlink can be seen by the naked eye for the foreseeable future, but as more time passes from their original launch point, the individual satellites will spread farther apart.
To learn more about Starlink, CLICK HERE.
To view a map of the satellite chain, CLICK HERE.