Sky Lanterns

A sky lantern, also known as Kǒngmíng lantern, or Chinese lantern, is a small hot air balloon made of paper, with an opening at the bottom where a small fire is suspended.

Around the world, sky lanterns have been traditionally made for centuries, to be launched for play or as part of long-established festivities. The name sky lantern is a translation of the Chinese name but they have also been referred to as sky candles or fire balloons.

Several fires have been attributed to sky lanterns, with at least one 21st-century death caused. Sky lanterns have been made illegal in several countries. Many areas of Asia do not permit sky lanterns because of widespread fire hazards as well as danger to livestock.

There are many potential explanations for sightings. We recommend eliminating the most common and mundane before jumping to less probable conclusions or you submit a report.

Resources

Flight & Marine Trackers

Live flight tracking maps are available for monitoring airline traffic and trajectories in real-time or historically around the world.

FlightAware

Flightradar24

ADS-B Exchange

Marine Traffic

Space Launches

Planned launches occur regularly all over the globe. These tracks can help identify the potential missions or launches in your area.

SpaceLaunchSchedule.com

SpaceFlightNow.com

RocketLaunch.Live

Satellite Trackers

Satellite tracking can also be done in real-time with the aid of tracking maps. They are also helpful for tracking Starlink launches.

Heavens Above

Space Weather

There are a number of sites which track solar flares, magnetic storms, and other events which are helpful for eliminating explanations related to astronomic phenomena.

Spaceweather.com

Spaceweather.gov

Méprises Du Ciel

French site (with English translations) with resources and examples covering the most commonly observed phenomena and explanations for UFOs.