With the sudden uptick in reports of UFOs in the skies over the United States, many more people are looking up at night.
If you saw a strange, and perfectly aligned, string of lights in the night sky over Massachusetts Monday night you weren't alone.
And if you missed it, you may see it again this week.
The sightings came not long after a U.S. fighter jet shot down an “unidentified object” over Lake Huron on orders from President Joe Biden. It was the fourth such downing in eight days and the latest military strike in an extraordinary chain of events over U.S. airspace that Pentagon officials believe has no peacetime precedent.
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Social media erupted with images of the unique visual that showed what appeared to be a line of lights that some were calling UFOs.
But in reality, it's less mysterious than that. One sight that has become common in the night sky is a line of satellites launched by Elon Musk’s “Space X.” The satellites are in a straight link and are called “Starlink.” Their goal is to provide internet to the most remote locations on Earth.
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Space X continuously adds more Starlinks. In fact, February 12 was the most recent launch of additional satellites, adding over 50 more to the line.
The Starlinks are often reported as UFOs. In April of 2020, with so many people at home during the height of the pandemic, reports flooded local emergency call centers of UFOs in the sky.
Space X launches the satellites on their well-known Falcon 9 rocket, which also has triggered reports of being a UFO.
According to a website that tracks the satellites, the scene could be visible in the Boston area again this week, with sightings possible Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, though seeing them will depend on a number of conditions, including the weather, and locations could shift.
Part of the reason behind many viewers' concern was a “heightened alert” following a spy balloon from China that emerged over U.S. airspace in late January.
Since then, fighter jets last week also shot down objects over Canada and Alaska. Pentagon officials said they posed no security threats, but so little was known about them that Pentagon officials were ruling nothing out — not even UFOs.
“We have been more closely scrutinizing our airspace at these altitudes, including enhancing our radar, which may at least partly explain the increase,” said Melissa Dalton, assistant defense secretary for homeland defense.
If you’re interested in seeing the chain of satellites, they are often visible every other night, just beyond sundown. As sunset becomes later, it will be harder to view the chain.
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