There have been many reports of a shiny object seen over the skies of Pittsburgh on the evening of August 4, 2016. Many members of the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh (AAAP) also saw the object while viewing the planetary line-up (Venus, Mercury, Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn). Thanks to AAAP member John Pane, we know that the object was a high-altitude balloon launch as part of Google’s Project Loon. The balloon was launched from Washington state and drifted over Pittsburgh at just the right time for it to be illuminated by the sun’s last rays while the sky was getting dark.
AAAP member John Holtz spotted a balloon shortly after arriving at Schenley Park to look for the planets. He used the positional data from flightradar24.com to calculate the position of the Google balloon as seen from his observing location. “The position relative to the star Arcturus, and the size of the object based on the range, all match what I calculated” he said. At 9 pm, the object was [Read more…] about Mystery Object Identified: Google Project Loon Balloon