SOUTHERN COLORADO — Several calls and emails were received by News5 staff regarding "bright lights in the sky" on Monday around 9:00 p.m. Many speculated on what the lights were, sending in viewer videos from parts of Colorado Springs and Pueblo.
The lights seen in the videos are reportedly Space-X's Starlink satellites. This network of low-orbit satellites is intended to bring reliable high-speed internet to populations with little or no connectivity around the world.
Low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites are satellites with Earth-centered orbits with an altitude of 1,200 miles or less, according to NASA. These objects will often reflect sunlight, causing a "glint" or "flare" because they are outside of our planet's shadow, creating effects like those seen in the shared videos.
Jonathan McDowell is an astronomer and astrophysicist at the Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. According to McDowell's website, Jonathan's Space Report, there are more than 5,000 Starlink satellites that have been launched into our orbit.
About a dozen satellites are launched all at once. Over their five-year lifespan, they travel in a line and move together, creating the shape of the phenomenon recorded in the videos.
The satellites are expected to be visible again on Tuesday just before 9:00 p.m.