RUTHERFORD COUNTY, TN - For those who have viewed odd objects in the nighttime sky and thought you may have seen a UFO, it was likely the Starlink Satellite train. Looking up, the satellites appear only briefly like a train of linked Christmas lights. They may appear to blink as they go behind clouds, but satellites generally don’t carry lights onboard.
The objects are lit by the reflection of the sun, which is why you can see them as lights in the nighttime sky. In fact, they often appear like stars, but you typically can only see them for 30-seconds or less. Many ask, “If it’s dark outside, how can the sun reflect on the objects?” It’s because the satellites are high enough in orbit to still reflect the sun above the horizon. Of course, this all depends on what time of night you are outside to see the satellites.
Once the train of Starlink Satellites reach their operating altitude of 340-miles, they disperse and begin their individual journey. This makes them harder to spot, as opposed to the current train of satellites being spotted by thousands around the world. The video above this article was captured near the Readyville community of Rutherford County, TN. It was recorded on Tuesday, September 5, 2023 around 8:25 PM. It was flying over the area from the West - Northwest to the East - Southeast.
For those who didn’t know, Starlink is a high-speed internet service. According to the SpaceX company, Starlink offers global internet connectivity that is both a high-speed, low-latency service. Once the service is fully launched, it will provide internet to even remote or rural areas. To receive the service, you have to order the Starlink receiving antenna that cost about $600. The service also comes with a monthly fee of $120. According to the company, their service will be available in Rutherford County by the end of this year. The business version of the plan comes with a hefty $2,500 fee for equipment and a monthly user fee of $250. It is packaged as a high-speed, low-latency broadband internet service that offers better extreme weather performance and bandwidth for critical operations 24/7. Download speeds are as fast as 220-Megabytes per second and upload speeds are usually 25-Megabytes per second. They also offer a mobile service.
The Starlink Satellite train has led to hundreds of UFO sighting reports in Tennessee and across the US. Many of the reports are called into law enforcement agencies on a nightly basis. Callers are more confused when the law enforcement agency lacks knowledge of the satellites orbiting over their community. Local residents also send photos and videos of the objects to media outlets in search of answers.
Starlink Satellites are part of the SpaceX program, overseen by Tesla billionaire Elon Musk. The satellite’s that can be viewed at certain times of the night floating over Rutherford County were launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on September 3, 2023. This was the 10th flight for the first stage booster that supports the mission. If you’re curious about where the satellites can be seen, visit FindStarLink.com. On Thursday night, September 7th, the satellite’s can be seen over Murfreesboro at 8:29 PM, by looking from west to south. It can be seen again on Friday night, September 8 at 8:38 PM by looking west to south.
SpaceX or Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, is a company founded by Tesla billionaire Elon Musk in 2002, is a space transportation and aerospace manufacturer. One of their goals is to one day be able to transport people to far away planets like Mars. Photo below from SpaceX.