‘UFO’ over the Las Vegas Strip? More likely a rare weather phenomenon
LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – “Two nights before Christmas and up and down the Las Vegas Strip, people looked up and thought they saw a spaceship.
Spoiler alert: It was probably just a weather phenomenon, albeit a rare one for the Las Vegas Valley.
The workers at Sapphire Gentleman’s Club in Sammy Davis Jr. Drive posted the first videos of the phenomenon early Friday morning, December 23. From the parking lot, they filmed what appeared to be clusters of red and white lights shining in the clouds.
“Honestly, this is really weird,” a voice said, noting the lights. “I mean, we’re here every night. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
The people recording the event speculated that it was a UFO hovering over the club, and they weren’t alone. Nexstar’s KLAS heard from a worker at a nearby marijuana grow business who also saw the lights, claiming they stayed in place for over an hour.
But the night was relatively cool with low clouds in the sky, leading to speculation that it was just reflections from the lights along the Las Vegas Strip. This is probably correct, experts suggest, although it only happens during very specific weather events.
A meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Las Vegas told KLAS that since the lights in the clouds did not appear to be moving and the temperature in the clouds was quite cold, there is a good chance that what people saw this night was a phenomenon known as “light the pillars.”
According to the National Weather Service, light poles are described as follows:
Tall pillars of colorful light stretching across the sky seem like the perfect backdrop for an impending alien invasion, but in reality, light pillars are a common effect that can be found all over the world.
They come from above – not extraterrestrials, but tiny ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere. The ice is very thin, shaped like plates with hexagonal faces. When ice goes down through the air, it falls nearly horizontally. At the top and bottom are the faces with the most surface area. Ice is highly reflective, so when light hits those wider faces, it bounces around and reflects off more ice crystals.
That means we get these vertically stacked mirrors floating in the atmosphere. The light that hits it is reflected up and up (or down and down, depending on the source) and becomes a radiant column in the sky.
Light can come from the sun, the moon, cities, street lights – any strong light source.
National Weather Service
Other people on the Internet have even matched the lights to some of the big hotel casinos along the strip. The red lights can be from Resorts world, and the other white lights from Wynn, Encore, Strat and Palace Station.