The lights turned out to be Starlink satellites launched by Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. on Tuesday from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
According to launch information from SpaceX’s website, 60 Starlinks were involved. Starlink is a satellite internet connection developed by SpaceX to provide broadband connectivity around the world. Twenty-seven launches have been made to date, according to Spaceflight Now.
Starlinks were visible Wednesday because the company is still working on making them invisible to the general public within a week of launching.
Darlene Anaya of Rio Rancho posted a video on Facebook Wednesday around 10:30 p.m. of light formations. Others in Las Cruces posted similar photos and videos, questioning what they saw.
Not only were the satellites visible to New Mexicans, they were also seen in Nevada, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal and Arizona, according to ABC 15 Arizona.
The website for Starlink states that the service will continue global expansion in 2021. They are already providing initial beta service internationally.
A training mission out of Holloman Air Force Base also took place Wednesday night. A representative from the base said F-16 fighter aircraft were flying until about 11:30 p.m., but “are not capable of producing the light formation that appeared in the videos.”