Backyard Astronomer: Interstellar visitors may not be so out of this world; just ask Jimmy Carter
Backyard astronomers are not experts on what UFO’s (flying saucers) really are, but they do see a lot of events in the sky that are not UFOs, but are regularly reported as alien spacecraft. Here are the top four natural night lights that cause most of the incorrect UFO reports:
1. Venus: Look at the western horizon just after sunset for the next few months, and brilliant Venus will immediately catch your eye. Only the moon is brighter than Venus in the night sky. Venus is almost always located in the air turbulence near the western or eastern horizons at sunset or sunrise. Add a large air mass in front of the viewer and Venus can be magnified into a large ball. Add in some moving clouds and the ball could appear to move and skip around, like an alien spacecraft? Jimmy Carter reported Venus to authorities as a UFO in 1969. During World War II, a group of American pilots mistook Venus for a Japanese plane and shot at it! According to NASA, they probably missed because the bullets couldn’t reach escape velocity.
2. Plasma: Better known as the aurora, these high-waving and colorful strands across the sky have confused many observers. Often, background stars will appear as UFO groupings.
3. Meteors: About 25 million shooting stars burn up in our atmosphere daily. Although the vast majority are no larger than a grain of sand, they still provide a nice streak across the night sky that we call shooting stars. Larger meteors have been known to blow up in the sky and leave a luminous gaseous glow in the sky that may linger for several minutes. Continue reading, svherald.com