First, we saw the spy balloon. Now, it’s been learned green laser beams were spotted in Hawaii in January 2023.
At first, experts thought the beams were coming from a NASA spacecraft, but new evidence has pointed to a Chinese satellite instead. According to the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), the Subaru-Asahi Star Camera captured the laser lights in the cloudy sky over Maunakea.
The initial report of the lasers over Hawaii was on January 30, 2023.
On Jan 28, 2023, HST, Subaru-Asahi Star Camera captured green laser lights in the cloudy sky over Maunakea, Hawai`i. The lights are thought to be from a remote-sensing altimeter satellite ICESAT-2/43613.
Watch the video:https://t.co/xqoJvSa24s#SubaruTelescope pic.twitter.com/5hhIsewuNp
— Subaru Telescope Eng (@SubaruTel_Eng) January 31, 2023
While the satellite is supposedly an atmospheric environment monitoring spacecraft, the discovery has caused many to worry that China could be using space-based or high-altitude surveillance equipment to monitor the US and its allies.
On February 6, 2023, the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan reported that the laser beams weren’t from US spacecraft but that the “Chinese Daqi-1/AEMS satellite” was the culprit.
“According to Dr. Martino, Anthony J., a NASA scientist working on ICESat-2 ATLAS, it is not by their instrument but by others,” a correction note on the YouTube video explains.
“His colleagues, Dr. Alvaro Ivanoff et al., did a simulation of the trajectory of satellites that have a similar instrument and found a most likely candidate as the ACDL instrument by the Chinese Daqi-1/AEMS satellite.
“We really appreciate their efforts in the identification of the light. We are sorry about our confusion related to this event and its potential impact on the ICESat-2 team.”
The Daqi–1 satellite is supposedly an atmospheric environment monitoring spacecraft. However, shortly after the lasers appeared a spy balloon traversed the continental United States.
This isn’t the only time it’s been reported the Chinese have been using lasers.
“The United States stands with our Philippine allies in the face of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Coast Guard’s reported use of laser devices against the crew of a Philippine Coast Guard ship on February 6 in the South China Sea,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement.
The Philippines on Monday accused a Chinese coast guard ship of hitting a Philippine coast guard vessel with a military-grade laser and temporarily blinding some of its crew in the disputed South China Sea, calling it a “blatant” violation of Manila’s sovereign rights.
The Chinese ship also maneuvered dangerously close, about 137 meters (449 feet), to block the Philippine patrol vessel BRP Malapascua from approaching Second Thomas Shoal, a submerged reef that has been occupied by Philippine forces, on Feb. 6, the Philippine coast guard said in a statement.