Red lights night sky

Last Edited By Krjb Donovan
Last Updated: Mar 11, 2014 07:56 PM GMT

Question

Last night we witnessed three huge lights horizontally in the sky right above our house. Very low and stationary. We watched about three minutes and I called 911. They said no low flying planes (duh!) or anything that they knew of.After I called 911 they faded one at a time. I have never seen anything like it. What is it?

Answer

Hi Sally, lights at night are the toughest thing to analyze properly...an aircraft headlight is visible for over 100 miles on a very clear night and even the little red/green wing lights can be seen 50 miles distant. Even stars are visible, and the closest is 25 trillion miles distant from us!

Unfortunately you didn't provide much information here...

sky conditions, time of night, any wind, were you in a brightly lit city, or out in dark country skies, any stars or planets visible, any cloud cover at all?, Do you live near an airport or Air Force Base....what location? So since there isn't much to go on, I can only guess. Also, you can't see "distance" with lights...there is no way of knowing how far away a light source is...initially, who ever thought that the stars were lightyears distant or the Moon is over a quarter of a million miles away (until science and astronomy figured it out using multiple observations and mathematics)? Things like helicopters at night are lit up like a Christmas tree, and their altitude can vary from 100 feet to 40,000 feet...so high that even when directly overhead at night, there is NO sound because they are so distant. So it's very difficult to analyze "lights at night" EVEN WHEN you have all the information, so in your case, it's nearly impossible. I always rule out Aliens as a last resort...the stars are so distant that I can't believe 'creatures' would make say a 20 year one-way trip, using all that fuel, money, effort, time, etc etc.... make one pass over a selected "house" with some bright red lights, then just disappear and go back home. That's why I always look for a human cause on all these "lights at night". (IN fact, I usually just disregard lights at night, especially if they are out on a horizon). I mean, when we go eventually to Mars on a manned mission, a 6 month one-way trip, are we going to make just one pass over the highest mountain on Mars (Olympius Mons) and then say, "OK, pack it in, let's head home"! WHAT? No! Hey, we just got here, we expended all that fuel, money, effort, time, to get here...let's land, explore, do our thing for a while. Otherwise, what was the whole purpose of the trip to begin with? See what I mean. So think stuff like...high altitude helicopters, red flares, weather balloons underlit with city lights, lasers being shot upward reflecting off a thin cloud source, etc etc. way before invoking some type of 'aliens'...which makes no sense at all to me. Hope this helps, Clear Skies, Tom Whiting Erie, PA PS...Sorry, but there is just not enough data to provide you a conclusion.

FOLLOW UP: Just thought of something; while you said horizontal lights, did you mean red horizontal beams of light? If so, then it probably came from stationary red rotating beacon on top of a cell phone tower or distant radio tower that was having maintenance done on it. (So it was stationary for a while). The dust and moisture in the air illuminated the red beams of light. So, do you have a radio or cell phone tower on a higher level than you, and within 10 miles? Once the system is repaired and rotating again, then you can't see them, the red beams, because of the rapid motion. And some of those beams are split into 2 or 3 parts with vertical slits, to make them more visible to low flying planes and their pilots. FWIW Tom

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