The night of Friday, June 17, left a somewhat surreal passage in western Cuba, after several users speculated on social networks with the sighting of alien ships in the form of a row of lights.
“Unidentified flying object over Bauta five minutes ago. Impossible to record due to the light from the electricity poles. Did anyone else see anything? Several lights in a line, much larger than an airplane and no noise depending on the height at which it was seen,” user Yuniel Eliades Proenza Arias reported on Facebook.
However, the euphoria and speculation was quickly quelled by specialists, who assured that it was actually the satellites of the Starlink network, a company that intends to offer broadband internet service, low latency and global coverage at low cost.
“These satellites that make up the Starlink network have large solar panels that, being oriented towards the Sun, make them reflect its light, and that is precisely what we have observed over western Cuba,” meteorologist Henry Delgado Manzor wrote on Facebook.
The Starlink internet service has been developed since 2015 by the American company SpaceX, owned by billionaire Elon Musk, which plans to build a constellation of 12,000 satellites, with a possible subsequent extension of the number to 42,000.
Last May, they put 53 satellites into orbit to join the more than 700 that the company already has around the Earth, at an approximate height of 550 kilometers, Delgado Manzor added.
“In the days after their launch is when we can see them best because they are still relatively close to Earth, they are gaining height trying to reach their orbit and that is when they reflect the most light from the Sun, in addition to being still very close together,” he said.
Precisely, this Friday SpaceX launched a new batch of 53 Starlink satellites. The Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Space Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, United States. required an update from the specialized Starwalk site.
Despite the alarm that aroused, meteorologist Henry Delgado said there is no reason to be alarmed. “On the contrary, it is a beautiful spectacle in the night sky and can be seen from anywhere on the planet.”
On the other hand, the specialist assured that this Saturday, around 9:34 at night, it can be seen again in Cuba, observing the sky from northwest to east.