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Bizarre lights seen streaking across the California night sky have a simple explanation

Published May 16th, 2023 4:22PM EDT
lights in night sky, shooting stars in night sky
Image: IncrediVFX / Adobe

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This past Sunday, May 14, Sacramento, Lincoln, and Patterson residents reported seeing bizarre lights in the California sky. The lights appeared in a straight line and created quite a bit of talk among the locals who spotted them. While these sightings can be exciting for UFO enthusiasts, their explanation is likely more mundane than expected.

According to CBS News, the lights spotted over the northern California area were most likely created by Starlink satellites launched into orbit on Sunday night. The lights were first spotted just before 11 p.m., and SpaceX launched its latest batch of Starlink satellites around 10:03 p.m.

When entering their orbit, Starlink satellites are known to travel across the sky and resemble a “train of lights,” CBS News explained in their report. This launch put another 56 Starlink satellites into orbit, which could also raise more concerns about overfilling Earth’s orbit with satellites.

Unfortunately, these bizarre lights over California were most likely just a mundane representation of Starlink satellites doing what they were designed to do. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen intriguing light shows from SpaceX rockets or satellites. Back in April, aurora hunters reported a mysterious spiral over Alaska.

While that discovery was also exciting, it was eventually explained away as remnants of gas from a SpaceX rocket booster, which had launched previously. We’ve also seen similar phenomena in Hawaii and other places.

The explanations behind these bizarre lights spotted in the California sky might not be that exciting. Still, it is just another reminder of why it is important to consider all of the options when looking at incidents like this. It would be easy to look at those lights are write them off as something more cosmic related, when ultimately, it’s just a byproduct of humanity putting something else into space.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.