Quickie version: it was a research balloon. A BIG research balloon.
HYDERABAD: The city on Wednesday woke up to an unidentified flying object (UFO) floating in the north-eastern sky or so some thought even as other sky gazers took excited shots of the rare celestial event. But when it refused to vanish from the sky even when the sun was well above the horizon, the curiosity levels rose and the rumour mills started working overtime. Would a UFO come hurtling down from the city sky?
The city was soon buzzing with messages on the transparent object floating in the sky beeping on cell phones and experts at the planetary society and Birla Planetarium were inundated with calls. Some local news channels too started flashing the news repeatedly about the mysterious object looking down at the city from the sky.
As it turned out, the ‘bright’ object was a huge scientific balloon and was launched by the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) Balloon Facility, located at ECIL in Hyderabad, into the space last night. The massive balloon with a volume of four lakh cubic metres and with a diameter of a cricket stadium was in the sky between 1 am and 11 am on Wednesday.
Source: The Times of India
For our non-Indian readers a lakh is 100,000. So this balloon had a diameter of 91 meters. For our USA readers that’s 300 feet.
With all the scientific instrumentation in the air these days, not to mention drones and lighted remote control crafts, to suggest that any UFO is alien is going to be a bit ridiculous. Just wait until we get flying cars… then all heck will break loose. Oh wait!