A photograph captured by stargazers in China of one of the objects. (Internet photo)
Astronomy enthusiasts in China's southwestern Sichuan and Yunnan provinces have observed luminous fan-shaped objects emitting cylindrical rays of light. The Beijing UFO Research Society says the objects are not UFOs but two satellites launched from South America.
Amateur astronomer Li Feng says he saw a strange shining object with his own eyes while taking photographs of astronomical phenomena on Nov. 11 in Zoige county in Sichuan. The mysterious object appeared beside constellations Canis Major and Puppis. Upon closer observation with the aid of a telescope, Li and his companion saw the object moving slowly casting rings of light toward the ground, according to web portal Sina.
Meanwhile, in the village of Aziying in Yunan province, another stargazer spotted an object beside Canis Major which resembled a comet.
The aspect of the photographs and the objects' spatial relation to the constellations suggest the light sources were high above the ground, said Wang Sichao, a researcher at the Purple Mountain Observatory attached to the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The object seen by Li is unlikely to be a comet since it was easily observable with the naked eye, was very bright and moved somewhat faster. The wave-like rays emitting from its tail were also not characteristic of comets. Wang, consulting astronomical data, confirmed that no comet has come sufficiently close to the Earth which would explain the phenomenon.
The researcher suggested the object was some kind of moving vehicle emitting a substance creating the illusion of waves of light. Wang also believes there was more than one vehicle, probably fairly small. The material trailing the c was able to travel far as the elevation at which it was flying has a very thin atmosphere, according to Sina.
The China UFO Research Association studied videos and concluded the objects are satellite-bearing rockets launched by Guyana. The "rays" were most likely the rocket jettisoning boosters or other parts and entering low Earth orbit after being launched 30 minutes previously. It passed through the sky above Yunnan and Sichuan and released the satellites into a higher orbit.
Beijing UFO Research Society 北京UFO研究會
Wang Sichao 王思潮