As observers around the planet were capturing images of Friday’s penumbral eclipse, one photographer saw something unusual: a round object crossing in front of the moon. Luis G. Verdiales from Loiza, Puerto Rico said:
I was using a 125mm telescope to capture the penumbral lunar eclipse when the black disk appeared. It was moving too slowly to be a satellite, so slowly that I was able to capture it with my camera four times. It got my attention because it was round!
Whole-moon image of taken during the February 10, 2017 penumbral lunar eclipse by Luis G. Verdiales.
Verdiales contacted the Caribbean Island’s largest astronomy organization – Sociedad de Astronomía del Caribe – to find out what it was. This group then found the answer:
After analysing magnified images, we suspected it might be a stratosphere balloon from Google Loon, a project that is testing internet coverage from the stratosphere. We verified FlightRadar24.com and found a balloon at 64,400 ft identified as HBAL176. Further analysis showed the balloon was right between the observer and the moon.
This post was written by Usman Abrar. To contact the writer write to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Facebook