Recently the US government has been shooting down some high-flying, unknown objects. The first object was recovered and can be studied for identification. The searches for the other three objects have been abandoned due to weather and terrain, eliminating the possibility of identifying the purposes and origins of the objects. As it turns out, chances are pretty good that the most recent objects were legitimate research balloons. There are thousands of balloons in the sky right now. The US National Weather Service alone launches around 60,000 balloons per year. NASA uses balloons to study the atmosphere. Many other research organizations launch high-flying balloons all over the world as well.
Below you’ll find a glimpse of a graphic the New York Times recently published that gives an idea of the sizes and altitudes of various objects in the skies. You can view the full size graphic on the New York Times website. Spy Balloons. U.F.O.s. What Else Is Up There? And the New York Times article, A Rising Awareness That Balloons Are Everywhere In Our Skies gives more information about the numbers and various types of balloons being used.
If you haven’t yet signed up for your free subscription to the New York Times, you can do that right here, using your MVCC email address. To find out more about meteorology and how all these balloons might be being used, check out these books from the library collection.