UFO Spotted Over California Coast

Forgive the title please, but I want folks who Google “UFO Spotted Over California Coast” to find this article so that I can help them know what it really is. If this is what you saw…
Twilight phenomena over California from a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch out of Vandenberg AFB.
…then it came from Earth, specifically Vandenberg Air Force Base. It may have been military, but it was probably a satellite launch. Maybe that they launched was a ULA Atlas 5 or a SpaceX Falcon 9. The satellite flew out of Vandenberg because it needed to orbit the North and South poles and Vandenberg allows for such launches to fly over the ocean so that if the rocket explodes then the debris won’t hurt anyone. One example of a polar orbiting satellite is Iridium. Of you use a satellite phone or pager, or if you’ve ever used the Internet during an international flight, then you may have done so using an Iridium satellite. On the evening of October 7th a Falcon 9 launched an Argentinian Soil Moisture sensing satellite that flew down the coast and many folks thought they’d seen a UFO. When the launch occurs just after dark like that, the sun will still be able to reach it and illuminate the rocket exhaust. Contrasted against the dark night sky it is quite spectacular. Rockets launching things into orbit do not fly straight up, but rather they fly nearly horizontal to the Earth to accelerate to orbital speeds. Often, an object in orbit is really not very far away from Earth. In fact, if an Iridium satellite flies directly overhead, it is really no further than a couple hundred miles up. With less air up there it encounters very little resistance to slow it down, so it just stays up there. An object in orbit is still pulled by Earth’s gravity and is actually always falling, however it is moving so fast that the curvature of the Earth’s surface just falls away from it as fast as it falls. The Moon and even TV satellites orbit much further away, but the principle is the same.

~ by Bill Housley on October 8, 2018.

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