Mysterious green laser beams that appeared over the night sky in Hawaii have been pinned on a Chinese satellite.
On January 28, the Subaru telescope camera on the summit of Mauna Kea captured streaks of green laser beams that some likened to The Matrix code.
Initially, the Japanese scientists who work at the Subaru telescope believed it came from a NASA satellite known as ICESat-2 but the space agency confirmed it did not emanate from their instrument.
Dr. Albaro Ivanoff ran some simulations and tabled the theory that it came from the Chinese Daqi-1/AEMS satellite.
“According to Dr. Martino, Anthony J., a NASA scientist working on ICESat-2 ATLAS, it is not by their instrument but by others,” the Subaru telescope camera admin team wrote underneath the video in an update this week.
“His colleagues, Dr. Alvaro Ivanoff et al., did a simulation of the trajectory of satellites that have a similar instrument and found a most likely candidate as the ACDL instrument by the Chinese Daqi-1/AEMS satellite.
“We really appreciate their efforts in the identification of the light. We are sorry about our confusion related to this event and its potential impact on the ICESat-2 team.”
The theory that the strange laser beams came from Chinese instruments comes amid heightened tension between Beijing and the United States.
A suspected Chinese surveillance balloon was shot down by the U.S. last Saturday, the latter says that it was part of a fleet of balloons “capable of conducting signals intelligence collection operations,” according to the State Department.
China’s Daqi-1 satellite is ostensibly an atmospheric monitoring spacecraft that’s in orbit to monitor global carbon levels and atmospheric pollution.
Unidentified Flying Objects
It’s the second time in quick succession that the Subaru telescope camera has recorded strange goings on in the night sky.
On January 18, a swirling whirlpool appeared in Hawaii’s night sky. Experts believe the phenomenon was linked to frozen fuel emanating from a SpaceX rocket that was ejected during its launch.
The summit of Mauna Kea provides some of the finest viewing conditions on Earth for astronomy which is why the observatory installed the livestream camera to monitor the surroundings outside the Subaru telescope.