Weather Balloon Sighting?
Name: Pam S.
Last spring I recovered a weather balloon from a field
near my house. On Friday morning at 1 am I watched as a green light out
of the northeast slowly descended toward the earth. Could this have been
a weather balloon too? It seemed slower that a meterorite, and its light
was bright green and very large.
It is unlikely that the light you saw was associated with a weather
balloon. Sometimes small lights are attached to the balloon when it is
launched to aid in visual tracking to guide the automatic electronic
tracking equipment to "lock-on" to the balloon transmitter signal. These
lights are white, very similiar to a flashlight bulb, and not green. The
time you saw the light would not be compatible with a weather balloon launch
or descent. The balloons are routinely launched at midnight and noon,
Greenwich Mean Time (about 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Central Standard Time). It
takes about 100 minutes for the balloons to reach their maximum altitude and
burst, and probably another 20-30 minutes for the deflated balloon to fall
back to the earth. That means the balloons should fall back to earth some
2-3 hours after they are launched, or between 8-9 a.m./p.m. central time.
There are probably other logical explanations for the light, such as a small
plane moving away from your location. One of the wing lights is red, and the
other is green. You might check with your local newspaper or police
station, to see if others reported seeing the light also.
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Update: June 2012