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what can SpaceX have to do with it?

In recent days, a series of sightings of unidentified flying objects (so-called UFOs) in the southern region of Brazil have fascinated airplane pilots, the scientific community and the general public. After all, what lights would actually be observed moving both from airplane 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 summarizing the strange events that have been reported since the last weeks of October.

UFO sighting report on October 22, 2022

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.

Aerial surveillance carried out by the Salgado Filho Airport Camera channel on Saturday evening (5) and Sunday morning (6)

However, these observations did not begin in this region. “Actually we can see these lights from Confins (MG). There are three spiral lights between them here, very strong,” described the commander of flight Azul 4657.

Three days later, on Tuesday (8), the pilots of four different planes reported the same thing: the appearance of atypical lights just above the horizon line. They were asked to “make images 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.

In fact, according to several US Department of Defense (DoD) officials who spoke anonymously 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 that seem to defy 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 associated with reflections of solar rays on the solar satellite panels.

“Satellite Flyers” is the name given to the phenomenon where light from the Sun is reflected back to Earth when it hits a solar panel on a satellite. Image: NIMEDIA –

“The hypothesis we’re working on, which seems to me to be the most coherent, is what we call ‘satellite flyers,’ which are reflections of sunlight on panels of satellites passing thousands of kilometers away,” said Zurita.

Ok, but what about SpaceX?

This is where SpaceX comes into the picture. More specifically, the phenomenon is actually called ” Starlink Racetrack Phenomenon ” Where ” Starlink rocket“, in view of the huge fleet of equipment in the mega-constellation 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 shot 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 taken by Zaparolli indicate with almost 100% certainty that they are indeed Starlink satellites reflecting sunlight, this is only the most likely hypothesis. “What we have are hypotheses, which also involve the possibility of drones or model aircraft being illuminated in a different way. But it doesn’t appear to be something that shines when it passes through the atmosphere,” Zurita explained, adding that one of BRAMON’s tasks is precisely to analyze footage captured by security cameras, observatories or sent by amateur cameras.

In addition to the sightings reported by the pilots and the video shot by Torres’ astrophotographer, dozens of other footage 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 think because everyone was alert and very attentive to the sky, hoping to register something”.

According to Zurita, the fact is that for these cases the explanation found may discourage those who hope that the aliens passing through our planet will be confirmed. “Initially, many cases cannot be explained due to a lack of data. And for those that contain data, the analyzes show aircraft in some records, in other satellites. Even purely optical phenomena such as reflections from lenses or the like have been confirmed.

Read more:

FAB comments on pilot observations

In a statement, the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) said that airspace control in recent days has been carried out within normal limits and that there is no trace of aviation incidents 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. “It shows that we are currently facing an unidentified aerial phenomenon,” entity director Hernan Mostajo told G1. “Look, it 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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