Bright green laser lines streak across the night sky in Hawaii. What caused them?

A time-lapse image of green laser pulses flickering in the night sky. (Image credit: Japan National Observatory)

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A camera attached to a telescope on Hawaii’s highest peak recently captured images of a series of eerie, bright green lines that streaked across the night sky for just over a second. Experts say the unexpected light show was caused by a quick burst of lasers fired toward Land by a NASA spacecraft.

The laser lines appeared on January 28, crossing the sky one by one in just over a second. TO video (opens in a new tab) of the lasers was captured by the Subaru-Asahi Star Camera, co-owned by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) and the Japanese news agency Asahi Shimbun, attached to the Subaru telescope on top of Mauna Kea, an inactive volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii.