What to do Before You Report a UFO

So you’ve just seen some eery lights in the sky, glowing orbs that moved in strange ways. This is a UFO report waiting to happen. But before you go tell all to the MUFON it could help to check what’s in the sky in your area. Here is your 3-step checklist.

1. Is it Venus?
First, you might want to check with your local astronomer to determine the location of Venus. The uncanny brilliance of the planet has inspired many UFO reports, including one made by President Jimmy Carter.

The remainder of February is a great time to watch for Venus because it will be at its brightest in the evening twilight sky. “In the weeks ahead, Venus will be coming closer still to Earth,” the dedicated skywatchers at www.earthsky.org wrote yesterday. “But it will be showing us less and less of its lighted hemisphere as it prepares to pass between us and the sun. So now is the time of maximum brilliance.”

Earthsky.org and Space.com have updates on prominent celestial happenings that might explain your UFO. If you feel like spending money, programs like Starry Night are available for download.

2. Is it a military exercise?
There’s no way to tell when and where the military is conducting flights, right? Wrong.

The FAA needs to tell pilots when military airspace is being used to keep collisions from happening. This website tracks which sections of “special use airspace” will be used for military flights. This includes military operations areas and aerial refueling Missions. For a list of airbases, airports and special use airspace, also see seeandavoid.org, a website established by the Defense Safety Oversight Council to deter midair collisions.

3. Is it an Earthling’s spaceship?
Satellites and spacecraft can be tracked via NASA’s website. They use data from flight centers to track satellites and spacecraft. There is a text-based version and an 300 K applet.

Source: Popular Mechanics

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