A Russian astronaut has sparked wild UFO theories after filming strange objects flying over Antarctica.
As Russian cosmonaut Ivan Vagner, who is currently aboard the International Space Station (ISS), was filming an aurora above Antarctica, several strange lights were seen. The 60-second clip, filmed from the ISS, shows at least five mysterious dots moving in unison, heading behind the Earth, from Mr Vagner’s perspective.
The cosmonaut, as Russian astronauts are called, posted the video on Twitter, fanning the flames of a UFO conspiracy theory.
Mr. Vagner said: “The guests from space, or how I filmed the new time-lapse. »
“The peak of the aurora borealis when passing over Antarctica at the longitude of Australia, i.e. in between. However, in the video you will see something else, not just the Aurora Borealis. »
“Between nine and twelve seconds, five objects appear, flying side by side at the same distance. What do you think it is? Meteors, satellites or…? »
“PS The images were captured at 1 per second and later stitched into a video with a frame rate of 25 frames per second. Which means that the real observation time is 52 seconds. »
“PPS The information was brought to the attention of the management of Roscosmos, the material was sent to TsNIIMash and the Institute for Space Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences for further analysis. »
Of course, Twitter users were quick to draw conclusions pointing to the “extraterrestrial” origin.
One person said “Cosmonaut aboard ISS filmed 5 UFOs flying over Antarctica. »
Another said: “An astronaut aboard the ISS filmed 3 UFOs from the window. »
However, others believe there is a simpler explanation and claim it was simply multiple Starlink satellites.
One person said: “I assume the objects were part of the Starlink constellation. They were in single file behind each other”.
Another added: “Probably Starlink satellites. »
Starlink is SpaceX’s ambitious but controversial program to launch 12,000 satellites into Earth orbit, with the goal of bringing the internet to every corner of the globe.
The first of these 12,000 satellites were launched in May 2019, and each month, Elon Musk’s firm steadily increases its number in the sky.
As Starlink relies on satellites to deliver the internet, the plans have been criticized by astronomers who claimed the satellite constellations obscured the view of the cosmos.
Although Mr Musk’s Starlink project was presented with “good intentions”, astronomers are concerned about how it will affect their understanding of the universe and its contents.
Last year, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) said in a statement “The scientific concerns are twofold.
“First, the surfaces of these satellites are often made of highly reflective metal, and reflections from the Sun in the hours after sunset and before sunrise cause them to appear as slowly moving dots in the night sky. »
“Although most of these reflections can be so faint that they are difficult to discern with the naked eye, they can impair the sensitive capabilities of large ground-based astronomical telescopes, including the extreme wide-angle survey telescopes currently in development. construction. »
“Second, despite notable efforts to avoid interfering with astronomical radio frequencies, aggregate radio signals emitted by satellite constellations can still threaten astronomical observations at radio wavelengths. »
“Recent advances in radio astronomy, such as the production of the first image of a black hole or a better understanding of the formation of planetary systems, have only been possible through concerted efforts to protect the radio skies from interference” .