Citizens in Turkey were on May 6 puzzled about several beams of light that were visible over Turkish skies. Social media users took to Twitter with regards to this phenomenon and shared the footage of what they initially thought to be flying objects.
Technology and Infrastructure Minister Mustafa Varank clarified the situation on May 7, saying that beams of light were the solar panel glare of Starlink satellites that U.S. entrepreneur Elon Musk's SpaceX launched into orbit on May 4.
Antalya Bakırlıtepe Tübitak Ulusal Gözlemevi Tüm Gökyüzü Kamerası ile bulutlu havaya rağmen Kuzey-Batı ufkunda görüntülenen Starlink Leo Uyduları güneş paneli parlaması.— Mustafa Varank (@varank) May 6, 2021
The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) also released a statement saying: "Glows of light stemming from these satellites' solar panels can be sometimes watched from the earth."
🛰️Starlink Uydu Ağı Projesi kapsamında zaman içerisinde Yer çevresindeki LEO yörüngelere yapay uydular yerleştirilmektedir. Bu uyduların güneş panellerinden kaynaklanan parlamalar ise zaman zaman yer yüzeyinden de izlenebilmektedir. pic.twitter.com/WkK43VXVi3— TÜBİTAK Ulusal Gözlemevi (@tubitak_tug) May 6, 2021
Launched to commemorate Star Wars Day, the Starlink satellites are part of SpaceX's satellite internet service that reportedly attempts to provide fast, reliable internet to populations with little or no connectivity.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched a full stack of 60 Starlink internet satellites into orbit on May 4.