UFO over Mauna Kea? Not!

There is a battery of webcams atop Mauna Kea, a few of which feature good sensitivity and are useful after dark. The telescope operators depend on these cameras to evaluate conditions around the telescopes during observation. From the warm control rooms, they can see clouds overhead, or even fog blowing over the summit.

The imagery from the Mauna Kea cameras is publicly available, a very useful feature to those of us who live and work around the mountain. But there are others use this video, looking for things that those who install and operate the cameras did not intend.

A video showed up recently, purported to show a UFO maneuvering over Mauna Kea. The camera is again the CFHT Cloudcam, a very nice camera installed to give CFHT operators a good look at approaching weather. The high quality images of this camera have occasionally shown odd events in the sky. Back in June the camera recorded a strange expanding halo of light that was eventually linked to the launch of a Minuteman Missile from Vandenburg AFB.

Purported UFO video from the CFHT Cloudcam
I have embedded the latest video to the right…

OK, just a dot of light that appears then fades, not very impressive. Particularly interesting is that the dot of light does not move with respect to the camera. To me this suggests some nearby fixed source of light that entered the camera from another angle. Another reasonable possibility is a geostationary satellite glinting in the sun. Making this out to be a UFO is a stretch by any measure.

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