GREAT FALLS — Several people shared videos with KRTV of a string of lights in the skies over Montana on Saturday night. The lights were most likely Starlink satellites passing overhead.
The website FindStarlink.com confirms that the satellites were above our area at the time the videos were shot, and noted that visibility of the satellites at the time was "bright."
The website also notes that "the satellites move really fast, and travel the entire world in 90 minutes. Every 90 minutes, they return to the same point (but a little further away). That's why sometimes you can see them again within 2 hours of a previous sighting."
More opportunities for "good" visibility in Montana, according to the website:
11:06 pm, 14 May 2022
Starlink-G4-15 (new), BRIGHT (3.3) for 5 mins
Look from NORTHWEST (299°) to NORTHWEST (305°)
Elevation (from horizon): start: 10°, max: 56°, end: 56°
9:43 pm, 15 May 2022
Starlink-G4-15 (new), BRIGHT (3.7) for 4 mins
Look from NORTHWEST (309°) to EAST (84°)
Elevation (from horizon): start: 10°, max: 34°, end: 10°
9:54 pm, 16 May 2022
Starlink-G4-15 (new), BRIGHT (2.6) for 5 mins
Look from NORTHWEST (304°) to EAST (98°)
Elevation (from horizon): start: 10°, max: 54°, end: 17°
10:04 pm, 17 May 2022
Starlink-G4-15 (new), BRIGHT (1.9) for 5 mins
Look from NORTHWEST (297°) to SOUTHEAST (127°)
Elevation (from horizon): start: 11°, max: 79°, end: 27°
This is not the first time people have reported seeing unusual lights over Montana. In December 2019, people in and around Browning, Rocky Boy, and Lodgepole shared photos that showed a row of bright lights in the sky, and people in other areas of Montana reported seeing them, too. It happened again in December 2020, and again in May 2021.
Hundreds of Starlink satellites have been launched over the last several years; they provide high-speed internet to customers who sign up for service, using small satellite dishes usually mounted on roof-tops. Click here to read more about it.
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Video from similar event in May 2021: