As the bonfire and fireworks season approaches this year keep a look out for a relatively new trend; sky lanterns.
Sky lanterns, or Chinese lanterns, are small paper lanterns which act as hot air balloons and drift on the wind across the sky. Although they have been around for a while they seem to be a growing trend this year. I've seen many on sale in local shops and advertised as an alternative to fireworks.
The other night my kids spotted something in the sky over our house. On investigation there were about ten lanterns drifting over the house and I managed to catch some on the video below.
These lanterns will no doubt prompt lots of enquiries from people who have seen a 'UFO' and want to know exactly what it is they have seen. I've a few similar enquiries over the last couple of years. So if you have people telling you they have seen strange lights in the distance you can probably tell them what they have really seen.
It's worth noting that looking a bright lights in a dark sky plays havoc with our perception of distance. People will often assume they are seeing large objects (spacecraft ?) at a great distance moving very quickly. In reality it's more likely to be small objects, much closer and moving more slowly carried by the breeze.
Whatever you are doing this bonfire night have a safe and enjoyable one.