The Belgian UFO hotline received several messages on Monday evening after concerned citizens saw a mysterious light in the sky over Flanders.
Reports of a mysterious cone-shaped object started coming in a little after 11:00 PM, but after looking at the images the hotline stepped in to provide an explanation.
“Last night, a little after 11 pm, several people saw a strange light phenomenon in the sky above Flanders,” the group wrote on Facebook. “It appears to be the launch of the Landsat 9 satellite. This happened yesterday from California with the Atlantis V-401 launcher. #UFOs”
The earth observation satellite Landsat 9 is the latest in a long line of Landsat satellites. After the first one launched in 1972, NASA has always kept a Landsat in orbit to collect images of the physical material covering our planet’s surface and changes to land usage.
Researchers use those images to monitor agricultural productivity, forest extent and health, water quality, coral reef habitat health, and glacier dynamics.
“The Landsat mission is like no other,” said Karen St. Germain, director of the Earth Science Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “For nearly 50 years, Landsat satellites observed our home planet, providing an unparalleled record of how its surface has changed over timescales from days to decades.”
Foto’s zijn van Ufo Meldpunt. Is in Winschoten, Terschelling, Almere, Amersfoort, Arnhem en nog meerdere plaatsen gezien. Vandaag. Allemaal rond 23.30 uur. pic.twitter.com/2LEellRsZa
— Erlinde Stephanus (@Lampladies) September 27, 2021
Landsat 9 will work alongside Landsat 8 to collect images across the planet every eight days.
“It doesn’t happen very often that you see a launch like that,” Frederick Delaere of the UFO hotline told HLN. “If a lot of people from a large region see the same thing, we know that it is happening high in the atmosphere,” he added.