Queensland and NSW residents took to social media to share eerie clips of a white disc-shaped object, speculating whether aliens had dropped by to catch the latest goings-on of Planet Earth.
But it turns out the aliens aren’t coming to save us from lockdown any time soon. Astrophysicist Brad Tucker has said the sighting was actually the plume of a Chinese rocket – the Long March 3B.
“The plume is like exhaust, gas coming out during launch of the rocket,” Dr. Tucker explained. “Sometimes, if it happens in the evening, you can see the stranger shape and sight.”
The rocket was launched from China’s Xichang Satellite Launch Center the Sept. 27, the day of the sightings. It is rumored to be transporting into orbit a new generation of navigation satellite which broadcasts in 4K and 8K.
“Sightings like this can be rare and surprising – given their weird shape and the way they move in the sky,” Dr. Tucker said.
“However, as many rocket launches happen – this was actually China’s second launch of the day, they are becoming more and more common.”
The satellite was reportedly launched in preparation for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.
The “sighting” comes after experts weighed in on the existence of aliens earlier this year, with University of Southern Queensland Astrobiologist Jonti Horner saying the answer was a “definite yes.”
Speaking to The Conversation in June, Professor Horner said these other life forms may be too far away for us to ever make contact, which makes finding proof “astonishingly hard.”