A freaky string of lights that passed through the night sky Tuesday had people in parts of Washington and Idaho questioning if Santa was coming early this year or if aliens were invading.
Experts, however, said the lights weren’t anything mythical. They were just SpaceX satellites, the National Weather Service said.
About 60 Starlink satellites launched Tuesday afternoon from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. By nighttime, people from Seattle to Nampa reported being puzzled by the random streak of lights on social media.
“The weird Seattle light show UFO thingy over Lynnwood, Washington,” someone said on Twitter. “Santa, is that you?”
The National Weather Service in Seattle later confirmed that it looked to be the SpaceX launch.
Starlink satellites are part of SpaceX’s high-speed broadband internet service.
“As we launch more satellites, install more ground stations and improve our networking software, data speed, latency and uptime will improve dramatically,” SpaceX said on its website.
It’s not the first time SpaceX left people in Washington wondering what they just saw. In March, a bright string of lights crossed the sky in the Northwest. It was suspected to be debris from a Falcon 9 rocket, according to the Tri-City Herald.
“Truly an amazing sight you’re never going to forget,” one person posted.
Here’s what Tuesday’s sighting looked like across the area: