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Mysterious Green Lights Over Hawaii Attributed To Chinese Satellite

Chris Agee
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When residents of Hawaii spotted mysterious green lights overhead late last month, there was no immediate explanation available. In light of subsequent concerns about Chinese espionage missions within the United States, however, astronomers now believe the communist nation was somehow involved.

The National Astronomical Observatory of Japan initially posited that NASA’s ICESat-2 satellite was the source of the green laser light show seen near Mauna Kea, Hawaii.

Days later, NASA confirmed that it had conducted a simulation taking into account the location of satellites in the planet’s orbit at the time and determined that a Chinese satellite was responsible for the lights. 


“We really appreciate their efforts in the identification of the light,” the NAOJ wrote in an updated statement. “We are sorry about our confusion related to this event and its potential impact on the ICESat-2 team.”

As for the Chinese satellite in question, there was no indication that it is serving a nefarious or aggressive purpose. Roy Gal of the University of Hawaii’s Institute of Astronomy noted that the orbiting object is primarily used to gauge pollutants in the atmosphere.

“It has many different instruments on it,” he said, including “topographical mapping” that serves its mission as an “environmental measurement satellite.”

He concluded that it is “not a risk to Hawaii or anyplace else,” explaining that the U.S. operates satellites with similar purposes.

“We have aircraft making these measurements all the time,” Gal added. “If you’ve seen topographical maps with high precision, those are made using sometimes this kind of thing.”


Of course, not everyone supports his effort to give China the benefit of the doubt. Former Marine Forces Pacific Chief of Staff Ray L’Heureux, for example, expressed skepticism that one of “the most prolific polluters on the planet” would bother collecting evidence about pollutants near Hawaii. 

Without making any direct accusations against China, he noted that “people are a little antsy, and I think we just need to be a little bit more aware, vigilant.” 

In the days since the lights were seen over Hawaii, multiple objects have been spotted in the sky over North America, including a suspected Chinese spy balloon that traveled from the West Coast to the East Coast before the military finally shot it down over the Atlantic Ocean.

President Joe Biden attempted to downplay that situation by claiming that it did not constitute a “major breach” of U.S. airspace.