Did You See That Strange Bright Light in the Sky Over West Michigan?
It's a bird, it's a plane, it's... wait, what IS that exactly?
If you looked into the sky in West Michigan around 10pm on Thursday night and saw something that looked like it was from an episode of the X-Files, don't panic: your eyes aren't deceiving you.
That string of lights that you saw taking over Michigan skies on Thursday night were some of Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites, which are low-orbit satellites. Elon Musk is using them as a part of his commercial enterprise to sell internet access around the world.
Elon Musk's company SpaceX have launched over 2300 of these satellites over the past few years, and while they may have a lot of great use to help people who want access to the internet in areas that are harder to get to, there are people who aren't fans of the lights in the sky.
The satellites have generated some concern among those who cherish views of the heavens. This so-called “satellite pollution” has already ruined some time-lapse images that astronomers typically do, and just like it did for many of us in West Michigan last night, the lights frequently confuse the public.
If the name seems familiar- recently Skylink made the news when Elon Musk activated several of the satellites above the airspace in the Ukraine in order to help their citizens have access to the internet during their conflict with Russia.
There are other experts that think what people may have seen could have been meteoroids. According to the American Meteor Society, Lyrids become active during the month of April, generally anywhere from the 15th through the 29th of the month. There has been no word yet from them on Thursday night's activity.
So, no you shouldn't worry that you're about to be abducted or worse, that the sky is literally falling. But, if you got to witness it first hand, it's pretty incredible to see something like that so close to home.