A “misty ball of light” UFO over Beijing. Pic credit: via South China Morning Post/YouTube
Residents of Beijing and surrounding communities reported sighting a mysterious UFO passing over the city.
Many puzzled residents took to the Chinese social media platform Weibo to share photos and descriptions of UFO lights that appeared over their city on Sunday (see video below).
Some described it as a “misty ball of light,” while others said it consisted of three lights in a triangular formation.
However, an expert from the Centre for Astronomy Technology at Beijing’s Tsinghua University said it was likely a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base (California) on Sunday.
UFO over Beijing was “a moving cloud-like object”
According to the South China Morning Post (SCMP), people living in Beijing, Tianjin, and as far as Shanxi and Shandong provinces reported sighting the UFO.
It caused quite a stir on Weibo on Monday, generating more than 900,000 threads, SCMP reported.
Witnesses who shared photographs and videos of the UFO said it first appeared in the sky after 6 pm on Sunday. They were sure about what they saw because they had an unimpeded view of the object in clear skies.
Some described it as “a moving cloud-like object,” while others said it was a “glowing object” that shone brightly without flashing.
Three lights in an “isosceles triangle” formation
A third witness said it consisted of three sources of light arranged in an “isosceles triangle” formation. According to the Weibo user, it was visible for many minutes before slowly dispersing like a mist.
Yet another witness recalled it looked like “a misty ball of light.” It moved silently across the sky from the west to the east.
When some speculated it might have been aircraft lights, witnesses insisted it was not an airplane because it did not flash.
An expert said it was a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket
Wang Zhuoxiao, an astronomy researcher at Tsinghua University in Beijing, told SCMP that the object might have been SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base (California) on Sunday.
The rocket carried another batch of satellites into low-Earth orbit.
According to Zhuoxiao, the rocket’s path on its way to space passed over northern China. It was visible to observers in Beijing and nearby cities.
The astronomer explained that the “ball of light” may have been the rocket dumping excess fuel. The process formed a bright cloud due to a physical phenomenon known as light scattering.
US residents mistook SpaceX satellite for UFO
The UFO news from China comes after Paranormal Papers reported in September that New Jersey residents mistook the satellites for UFOs.
But meteorologists explained that the lights came from a Starlink satellite train recently launched into low-Earth orbit.
Residents of Central Georgia also mistook the Starlink satellite constellation for a UFO.
The sighting in July sparked multiple calls to local police and news outlets. The excitement forced TV meteorologists to explain on air that the lights came from Starlink satellites.