In recent days, a succession of sightings of unidentified flying objects (so-called UFOs) in the southern region of Brazil has intrigued airplane pilots, the scientific community and the population in general. After all, what lights would actually be observed in motion both from aircraft cockpits and recorded and shared on social media by observers on the ground?
All of this may have something to do with SpaceX. But first, to get the full context, it’s worth recapping the strange events that have been reported since the last weeks of October.
On the night of the 22nd, a Saturday, Azul Linhas Aéreas pilots who were on a commercial flight from São Paulo (SP) to Porto Alegre (RS) reported seeing a strange light while passing over Santa Catarina, similar in the headlight of an airplane. However, there were no other aircraft on radar in the same area.
Two weeks later, also on a Saturday (5), pilots Azul and Latam reported further sightings at the control tower of Salgado Filho International Airport, in the capital of Rio Grande do Sul.
These sightings, however, did not begin in this region. “In fact, we can see these lights from Confins (MG). There are three spiral lights between them here, very strong,” the commander of flight Azul 4657 described.
Three days later, on Tuesday (8), the pilots of four different aircraft reported the same thing: the appearance of atypical lights just above the horizon line. They were asked to “make images in order to allow analysis of the movement pattern of the object seen”.
It is important to reinforce the meaning of the acronym UFO: unidentified flying object. That is, anything you see flying in the sky, but you can’t be sure what it is. Not necessarily alien spaceships or anything like that.
Indeed, according to several US Department of Defense (DoD) officials, who spoke anonymously with the The New York Times over the past week, most of the reported sightings around the world have been primarily from weather balloons and monitoring devices.
According to these sources, even the most impressive images, which seem to disobey the laws of physics, are probably the result of optical illusions.
for the columnist Digital appearance Marcelo Zurita, president of the Paraiba Association of Astronomy (APA), member of the Brazilian Society of Astronomy (SAB) and technical director of the Brazilian Meteor Observation Network (BRAMON), these lights can be linked to the reflections of Sun rays on Sun satellite panels.
“The hypothesis we are working on, and which seems to me the most coherent, is what we call ‘satellite flyers’, which are reflections of sunlight on panels of satellites which pass thousands of kilometers away” , said Zurita.
Ok, but what about SpaceX?
This is where SpaceX comes in. More specifically, the phenomenon is actually called “ Starlink-Racetrack Phenomenon ” Where ” Starlink Rocket“, in view of the enormous equipment fleet of the megaconstellation of high-speed internet satellites of Elon Musk’s company, which already exceeds three thousand. Many of them can be seen with the naked eye.
Zurita highlights a video recorded by astrophotographer Gabriel Zaparolli, a resident of the municipality of Torres, at the northern end of the Atlantic coast of Rio Grande do Sul, on the border with Santa Catarina.
Although preliminary analyzes of the images captured by Zaparolli indicate with almost 100% certainty that they are indeed Starlink satellites reflecting sunlight, this remains only the most likely hypothesis. “What we have are hypotheses, which also imply the possibility of being drones or model airplanes lit in a different way. But it doesn’t seem to be something that shines when it passes through the atmosphere,” explained Zurita, adding that one of BRAMON’s jobs is precisely to analyze recordings captured by security cameras, observatories or sent by amateur cameramen.
In addition to the sightings reported by the pilots and the video recorded by Torres’ astrophotographer, dozens of other recordings have circulated on social media. For Zurita, they are not necessarily related to each other. “Of course, it will be very difficult for us to identify all these phenomena observed in the south, because they probably have different causes and origins from each other. Since the news of the first reports of pilots passing over Santa Catarina towards Porto Alegre, these sightings began to multiply, I believe because everyone was alert and very observant in the sky, hoping to register something”.
According to Zurita, the fact is that, for these cases, the explanation found can discourage those who hope that the extraterrestrials passing through our planet are confirmed. “At first, many cases cannot be explained due to lack of data. And for those that contain data, the analyzes indicate aircraft in some records, in others satellites. Even purely optical phenomena such as reflections from lenses or the like have been confirmed.
FAB speaks out on pilot sightings
In a statement, the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) said that in recent days the control of the airspace was carried out within normal limits and that there was no trace of aeronautical event in Rio Grande do Sul. “No unknown objects were identified by air defense radars. »
This series of apparition reports (which also come from Uruguay and Argentina), in addition to the videos made by the pilots, are being analyzed by the Cosmos Astronomical Observatory, in Itaara, in the central region of the state. “This shows that we are currently facing an unidentified aerial phenomenon,” entity director Hernan Mostajo told G1. “Look, that doesn’t mean that in a week or a month we won’t be able to identify ourselves”.
According to Mostajo, the material was sent to researchers at NASA, the US space agency, which assesses Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP).
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