Chinese spy balloon shot down off U.S. coast
WATCH: The moment the Chinese spy balloon was shot down pic.twitter.com/DhjcjVPA9f
— BNO News Live (@BNODesk) February 4, 2023
GAME OVER CHINESE SPY BALLOON
THANKS FOR PLAYING pic.twitter.com/QfOMvBeoVC
— Chris Combs (iterative design enjoyer) (@DrChrisCombs) February 4, 2023
Fighters jets circling the balloon ready to shoot it down over off of Myrtle Beach. #ChineseSpyBalloon pic.twitter.com/7BnMkmhUaJ
— Brad Panovich (@wxbrad) February 4, 2023
@lookner @IntelCrab just moments away from reaching the ocean. Myrtle beach 21st ave pic.twitter.com/tTXxkXDZLJ
— angrytacoz (@angrytacoz2) February 4, 2023
Update: The U.S. military has shot down the alleged Chinese spy balloon off the coast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Where is the Chinese spy balloon now?
Reuters reported Friday night (February 3, 2023) that – according to the U.S. military – the suspected Chinese spy balloon has changed course and is now floating eastward at about 60,000 feet (18,300 meters) over the central United States, “demonstrating a capability to maneuver.” Several media outlets are reporting on a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) model for computing air parcel trajectories (NOAA’s HYSPLIT model), which has predicted that the suspected Chinese spy balloon was somewhere over southeast Missouri by 6 a.m. CT (12 UTC) on Saturday, February 4. The balloon is following the pattern of winds sweeping across the U.S. Find a map below of its suspected course into the United States and where it could travel to next.
Reports of a mysterious high-flying object over Montana began flooding in on Thursday, February 2. The U.S. Pentagon soon announced that it’s a Chinese spy balloon, although the Chinese government has claimed it is a civilian meteorological balloon blown off course.
The balloon is huge. It’s up to 3-bus-lengths long. According to reports, you should be able to spot it under clear daytime skies, despite the fact that it is very, very high up. Some reports say the balloon is flying as high as 60,000 feet, or about 11 miles up (18,000 meters). The balloon is sailing through the layer of Earth’s atmosphere called the stratosphere. That’s well above where airplanes fly, at around 32,000 feet (10,000 meters).
Now on sale! The 2023 EarthSky lunar calendar. A unique and beautiful poster-sized calendar showing phases of the moon every night of the year. Treat yourself!
Here are recent possible tracks
Lots of interest in suspected Chinese spy balloon. Recent sighting north of Kansas City. Forward trajectory based on atmospheric steering currents would bring it close to St. Louis tonight & into North Carolina Saturday. Follow Wash Post live updates here: https://t.co/mHZpCHHQes pic.twitter.com/JKvL78Ve0w
— Capital Weather Gang (@capitalweather) February 3, 2023
But of course we don’t know exactly how the winds will push the balloon along, so other tracks are possible:
Given the sightings of the spy balloon near Kansas City around noon CT, the most likely path it will take this weekend is across the Mississippi Delta and Deep South, reaching the Southeast coast by Sunday evening.
Probably will be drifting across Florida or offshore by Monday. pic.twitter.com/uNtLg7qkMD
— weathertiger.substack.com – WeatherTiger, LLC (@wx_tiger) February 3, 2023
We can't track the Chinese "Weather" Balloon….but we can track the U.S. Airforce airplane that is tracking the balloon Friday night! pic.twitter.com/BgfSNwWa32
— Wes Hohenstein (@WeatherWes) February 4, 2023
NEVERRR in my wildest dreams would I have ever thought that i'd be tracking a Chinese spy balloon for a weather report ANDDD describing what a sounding is on TV but here we are. Based on upper level winds, could be off the coast of the Carolina's tomorrow. #ChineseSpyBalloon pic.twitter.com/mM3BurF9AL
— Holden LeCroy (@Holden_WX) February 4, 2023
Chinese Spy Balloon sighting:
?: 8:50 AM February 4, 2023
?: Fairview, NC 28730
?: 195° moving ESE pic.twitter.com/hFfJAot9Is
— Evan Fisher (@EFisherWX) February 4, 2023
The latest on the Chinese spy balloon
The Independent – in the UK – is reportingon Saturday morning that China’s foreign ministry has now accused American officials of excessively “hyping” the balloon incident.
Top Chinese diplomat Wang Yi reportedly said:
China is a responsible country and has always strictly abided by international law. We do not accept any groundless speculation and hype.
In the face of unexpected situations, what both parties need to do is to maintain concentration, communicate in a timely manner, avoid misjudgments, and manage and control differences.
Meanwhile, late Friday night, the Washington Post reported that the Pentagon has spotted a second airborne vehicle over Latin America, similar to the one seen over the continental United States, and has assessed it is another Chinese spy balloon. Department of Defense spokesperson Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder said in a statement to The Washington Post:
We are seeing reports of a balloon transiting Latin America. We now assess it is another Chinese surveillance balloon.
And the Washington Post reported:
The assessment comes amid a diplomatic row sparked by the first balloon, which was spotted over Montana on Wednesday and has since prompted U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to postpone a trip to Beijing just hours before his departure.
A journey over Canada
Meteorologists have tracked the likely path of the balloon from China across Canada and into the U.S.
#DOD says high altitude balloon over Montana yesterday was a spy balloon from #China. I did a quick run of the #NOAA HYSPLIT model to trace backwards the path of an object. Using 14K meters over Montana yesterday I get the following – Yup Central China!https://t.co/FHiG79f4th pic.twitter.com/DeZLjjkPei
— Dan Satterfield (@wildweatherdan) February 2, 2023
Here’s an early report and summary of the balloon
The US Defense Department said Thursday it is monitoring a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon floating over the country.
Here’s what you need to know about the spy balloon ? https://t.co/pyhamgdBe4 pic.twitter.com/GHfoj0Y5Lw
— Bloomberg Quicktake (@Quicktake) February 3, 2023
Certainly not a planet
Some of the first videos of the balloon asked if what they were seeing might be a planet. Between the size it appeared in the sky and its visibility in daylight – not to mention the fact that no planets should be in the area of the sky where the balloon was seen – it clearly was not.
Video of the Chinese spy balloon as it flew over Montana pic.twitter.com/em6PHJzLzS
— BNO News Live (@BNODesk) February 2, 2023
Little did I know that I photographed a #chinesespyballoon yesterday. pic.twitter.com/vFQltifxkU
— Chase Doak (@ckdoak) February 2, 2023
Bottom line: Observers watched an alleged Chinese spy balloon cross the U.S. over the last few days. The U.S. military shot it down off the coast of South Carolina on Saturday.
Did you get a photo of the Chinese spy balloon? Send it to us!