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Locals report strange light over Tims Ford Lake

A mysterious object flies over Tims Ford Lake early Saturday morning. Thanks to Jack Daniel Distiller Mark Perry for use of the image.

MOORE COUNTY — Was it a plane, a satellite, an alien life form coming to try out some Tennessee whiskey? What was that strange light lots of locals saw flying over Tims Ford Lake in the wee hours of Saturday morning?

Multiple sources reported seeing a brightly lit object flying low over the lake on June 13. According to eyewitnesses, the object entered the lake area from the south and headed east flying horizontally. It maintained a steady horizontal trajectory … without dipping or falling the way a meteor or star would.

Blame it on science, Hix says

There’s a perfectly reasonable explanation says our local science guy, Billy Hix. Hix is a professor emeritus from Motlow State who founded a student/teacher STEM outreach program in southern, middle Tennessee.

He says it was a Space X satellite as part of the Starlink Program. Starlink is Elon Musk’s vision to provide Internet to every individual on the planet through a series of satellites. The one folks in Moore County saw on Saturday is one of 58 being launched.

“These satellites were being placed in an orbit that had the rocket headed more northward than normal,” he explained.

Hix says that despite the fact that we couldn’t yet see sunrise, the sun was up enough to shine on the rocket and it’s exhaust plume … making it more visible.

When asked why the exhaust plume was so wide, he explained that it was due to the fact that as the atmospheric pressure drops to almost zero very high up. This lack of pressure allows the plume to expand out and not be skinny and long as it is at liftoff … but wide and short at high altitude.

Even though the mysterious light appeared to be just over the hill, the Space X rocket was actually located 2,633 miles away over the Atlantic Ocean. For more information about the Starlink program, click here. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

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