Internet balloons, not UFOs

Looking up in the sky in the direction of the sun today gave a number of people a cause for pause. Some to wonder if science fiction was coming to life with four seemingly stationary white “dots” in almost in a straight line looming above the clouds. The “dots” were made and launched by earthlings and not extra-terrestrials.

These balloons belong to Google’s Project Loon. They are designed to bring Internet access to remote regions not served by traditional infrastructure. The helium balloons contain equipment that connects the balloons to each other, ground relay stations, and the Internet. They are also equipped with an ADS-B receiver, which makes them visible on airplane tracking site such as The balloons float in the stratosphere gaining and losing altitude to find the right wind patterns to carry them where the need to be. They float above weather systems and commercial air traffic, generally between 55,000 and 70,000 feet. Loon balloons are launched from a number of locations around the world, including a new location in Puerto Rico.

Source: The Daily Herald