AUSTIN (KXAN) — Just before 6 a.m. this morning, a handful of KXAN viewers spotted a small array of lights arranged in a straight line drifting across the predawn sky.
The lights appeared in the eastern sky at 5:51 a.m., then disappeared over the southeastern horizon at 5:56 a.m. Skies were mostly clear and humidity was low, creating ideal visibility for viewing.
The row of lights was actually an array of 60 small satellites launched into orbit last night from Cape Canaveral, Florida as part of SpaceX’s Starlink broadband internet constellation — a global satellite internet project. The project aims “to provide constant high-speed internet access to users around the world,” including remote areas that are often left out.
According to Space.com, SpaceX now operates more orbiting satellites than any other company (180 total), and the 60 launched last night are part of hundreds — or thousands — that will eventually make up SpaceX’s global internet project.
Each satellite weighs around 485 pounds and will beam high-speed internet to the Earth below. SpaceX plans to operate these satellites in a lower geostationary orbit than existing satellite internet providers, which they say will provide faster internet speeds.
Anytime you see something in the night sky, send us a photo or video at firstname.lastname@example.org, or with your KXAN Weather App!