Flying Saucers ... Or Moths?
   2012-06-20 06:58:23    Shanghai Daily      Web Editor: Zhangxu

A video grab of Shenzhou-9 spacecraft launch featuring the two flying objects. [Photo: Agencies]

Chinese experts can't fully explain the two glowing unidentified flying objects which appeared to be rushing at high speed toward Shenzhou-9 spacecraft shortly after its launch on Saturday.

However, one did raise the possibility that it could just have been two moths flying in front of a camera lens.

It has been confirmed that the objects were recorded by one infrared video camera monitoring the launch and were spotted on a screen at a control center in Beijing about four minutes after the Long March-2F rocket had blasted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province.

The rocket had just shed its nose cone when they were seen heading toward the rocket before flying past and vanishing two seconds later.

Many television viewers saw the objects during a live broadcast on state TV.

"They couldn't be planes, meteors, birds or separated parts from the rocket," Wang Sichao, an astronomer and UFO expert at the Nanjing Purple Mountain Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said in an early assessment. However, later he conceded that were two possibilities. They could be two moths flying dozens of meters away past the camera lens. And they also might have been planes, if the rocket had flown past the no-fly zone by the time the two objects were captured.

"If the two objects, emitting light, had been detected at different locations, they could have been UFOs," Wang told China News Service. "But (we) haven't received a similar report at another location yet."

Wang ruled out spots on the camera lens or meteors.

He said the video would be kept in the archives for further research.

The Shenzhou-9 spacecraft took off from the launch site in the Gobi Desert at 6:37pm on Saturday.

A video of the launch featuring the two flying objects was posted on Weibo and by Tuesday afternoon had received more than 2,000 comments.

Many people said the objects might have been planes flying beside the rocket or parts of the rocket itself.

Wang said they couldn't be rocket parts as they were flying in the wrong direction - toward, not away from, the rocket. Planes were a distant possibility early in the launch because there were air traffic restrictions in place around the launch site.

An astronomy expert in Shanghai said the infrared video shot from a single spot offered too little information to identify the objects.

"We need the videos from at least two cameras from different angles to work out the precise position and speed of the objects and then to identify what they were," said Tang Haiming, an official with the Shanghai Astronomical Observatory on Sheshan Hill.

Last August, a huge glowing object was spotted high above Shanghai, Beijing and other regions in China by several civil aviation pilots, sparking debate among astronomers.

Some said the object was an aircraft beyond human technology after studying pictures and calculating its flight path.

The Shenzhou-9 and its crew of three, flight leader Jing Haipeng, 45, Liu Wang, 43, and China's first female astronaut Liu Yang, 33, successfully linked up with the Tiangong-1 space lab on Monday.

Share

               


CRIENGLISH.com claims the copyright of all material and information produced originally by our staff. No person, organization and/or company shall reproduce, disseminate or broadcast the content in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of CRIENGLISH.com.

CRIENGLISH.com holds neither liability nor responsibility for materials attributed to any other source. Such information is provided as reportage and dissemination of information but does not necessarily reflect the opinion of or endorsement by CRI.

 
Listen
 
 

 
 
Highlights
Media Scan
Seven Sentenced to Death for Drug Smuggling
A court in Shandong has sentenced seven people to death for drug smuggling; three others have been given death with a 2-year reprieve.
Survey Shows Excessive Intake of Aluminum
Residents of northern China and those under the age of 14 may be ingesting more aluminum than healthy.
CHINATALKS
Video
• C4: Bad Boys
Join us for the latest episode of CRI's hilarious comedy news show.
• C4: World Cup Fever
Join us for the latest episode of CRI's hilarious comedy news show.
In Depth

News
China
World
Politics
Business
Sports
Showbiz
Sci-tech
Photo
Recommended
China
World
Sports
Showbiz
Travel
Video
C4
The Sound Stage
Showbiz
Travel
China Revealed
My Chinese Life
Travel
Destinations
Photo Gallery
Recommended
Learn Chinese
"In" Chinese
Chatting in Chinese
Pop Culture
Traditional Culture
Living Chinese
Chinese Studio
Chinese Class
Learn English
Special English
Pop Chart
Everyday English
Fabulous Snaps
CRI News
China.org.cn  | Xinhua  | People's Daily Online   |  CNTV.cn  | China Daily  |  Global Times  | China Job  |  China Tibet Online  | Taiwan.cn  | eBeijing  | Beijing Today  | China-Eurasia Expo  | APEC Yiwu Conference  | Chinese Embassy in S.Africa  | Chinese Embassy in Australia  | Chinese Embassy in NZ