Astronomers Say Chinese Satellite Beamed Green Lasers Over Hawaii
Julie Thurston Photography/Contributor via Getty Images

Astronomers believe the green laser beams spotted over the Hawaiian Islands last month came from a Chinese satellite.

The National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) said in a January 30 tweet that the space agency’s Subaru-Asahi Star Camera on Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii captured green laser lights in the cloudy sky over Maunakea, Hawai’i.

Although the agency initially believed the lights came from a NASA remote-sensing altimeter satellite known as an ICESAT-2/43613, which CNET described as NASA’s Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2 that shoots lasers at Earth to measure the surface of the planet.

Officials corrected the original statement on February 6, saying NASA scientists “did a simulation of the trajectory of satellites that have a similar instrument and found a most likely candidate as the ACDL instrument by the Chinese Daqi-1/AEMS satellite.”

“We really appreciate their efforts in the identification of the light,” NAOJ wrote. “We are sorry about our confusion related to this event and its potential impact on the ICESat-2 team.”

The University of Hawaii, Institute of Astronomy’s Roy Gal told KHON2 the beams came from a Chinese satellite that measures pollutants, “among other things.”

“It has many different instruments on it … Some kind of topographical mapping or they’re also used for measuring stuff in Earth’s atmosphere, and I think that’s what it is, environmental measurement satellite.”

Gal added the U.S. has satellites performing the same tasks.

Still, China’s spacecraft does not pose a risk to the islands or locals as tensions between the U.S. and China rise amid spy satellites and other devices owned by the Chinese regime entering U.S. air space, which has prompted the deployment of U.S. military fighter jets several times to strike down the objects.

“No, it’s not a risk to Hawaii or anyplace else, too,” Gal said. ”We have aircraft making these measurements all the time. If you’ve seen topographical maps with high precision, those are made using sometimes this kind of thing.”

Ray L’Heureux, a former chief of staff of Marine Forces Pacific, told the news outlet aired a different opinion surrounding the laser beams.

“I’m not sure, and this is my opinion, why the Chinese — who are probably some of the most prolific polluters on the planet — would be collecting data on pollutants on this side of the Pacific,” L’Heureux said.

L’Heureux noted that due to the tensions between the U.S. and China, “people are a little antsy, and I think we just need to be a little bit more aware, vigilant.”

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Astronomers Say Chinese Satellite Beamed Green Lasers Over Hawaii