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WHOA! Stargazer richly rewarded

| August 23, 2020 1:00 AM

On the evening of July 23, about 8 p.m., I was in my backyard gazing at the celestial universe and suddenly five objects appeared from the vastness of space. I said, “Whoa. What is this?”

As suddenly as I saw these five objects — they looked like parachutes — a swarm of objects appeared. I watched this swarm for about a minute while they separated and started flying very fast, like the speed of a shooting star, northwest and northeast in the universe. Each object had a bright, flashing, pulsating light and they disappeared into space. I counted 20-24 objects.

The next morning, I called the Spokane FAA (Federal Aviation Authority) and told them what I had seen.

They told me I had witnessed SpaceX’s Operation Starlink deploying “Starlink” satellites. The flashing, pulsating light I saw was the satellite’s rockets propelling it into its programmed orbit.

This year, SpaceX has launched 418 “Starlinks” and plans on a 1,500 satellite constellation to provide commercial internet service this fall.

The FAA also said astronomers were complaining the satellites reflected too much sunlight, so SpaceX is going to paint them so they cannot be seen from Earth and reflect light.

I suspect sightings from Utah and Colorado this year were satellites going into orbit.

P.S. I am 82 and have eyes like an eagle, thanks to Dr. Bucklin’s intraocular lens implants.

TED DOHERR

Coeur d’Alene