Thursday night was an unusually good opportunity to see satellites over central Ohio.
OHIO, USA — If you were looking at the Ohio sky around 9:30 p.m. Thursday, you may have seen something a little strange.
This bright string of lights that many viewers reported was the Starlink satellite train moving in its orbit.
Starlink, Elon Musk’s broadband internet company, operates a vast network of low-orbit satellites, many of which are usually visible from Earth at night.
In accordance with findstarlink.comwebsite tracks when the satellites will be visible in various locations, there was an unusually good chance of seeing the satellite over central Ohio on Thursday night.
If you missed Thursday’s satellite, there’s good news.
Findstarlink.com says that given clear skies, people in central Ohio should be able to see the satellites every night through Monday, May 8.
Starlink uses a network of more than 2,000 satellites orbiting the Earth at an altitude of more than 340 miles. The company continues to launch satellites in batches as part of its goal of bringing high-speed broadband around the world, especially in places with poor connectivity.
The satellites played a role in keeping Ukrainians connected to the Internet after the Russian invasion of the country. Last February, Musk sent truckloads of equipment to Ukraine to allow people to use satellite Internet service, even as Russian forces cut off other Internet access.
The system was also used in Tonga after a huge volcanic eruption and tsunami severed a vital submarine cable, knocking out the main internet connection for weeks.
The large number of satellites launched by Starlink and other companies, including Amazon, has been a source of frustration for some. “Satellite pollution” created by thousands of orbiting objects makes it difficult for astronomers to observe space.