What was that?: Low-orbit satellites roam Metro Detroit sky Thursday night

String of lights part of Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites

There was a floating object occupying the sky Thursday (April 20) night. Did you see it? Paul Gross has the latest.

DETROIT – Many people emailed the Local 4 newsroom Thursday evening, wondering just what those lights were that moved through the sky.

The string of lights that many of you saw, and captured, were not actually part of a UFO: Those lights were some of Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites, which are low-orbit satellites as part of his commercial enterprise to sell internet access.

SpaceX has launched over 2300 of these satellites over the past few years.

These satellites have generated some concern, particularly among those who cherish views of the heavens. This “satellite pollution” has already ruined some time-lapse images that astronomers typically do, and has also confused the public -- as it did to many viewers Thursday!

But, rest assured, it wasn’t anything to worry about.

Related: Check this out: Solar Eclipse on Mars

About the Author:

Local 4 meteorologist Paul Gross was born in Detroit and has spent his entire life and career right here in southeast Michigan. Paul has researched, written and produced eight half-hour documentaries for WDIV, as well as many science, historical and environmental stories.