Bad Astronomy at Slate explains why insects look like flying saucers when they’re filmed out of focus.
Here’s astronomer Phil Plait…
Because if those are UFOs I’ll fight a xenomorph bare-handed. Those aren’t UFOs. Those are bugs. Insects. Insects flying around in front of the camera. Insects that can hover, change direction, zip away. Insects that look like blobs because they’re close to the camera, which was set to focus on infinity. Insects which were lit by the Sun so they flash a bit when they change direction.
And yes, I know: UFO means Unidentified Flying Object, and since no one could identify them, these are by definition UFOs. Except they aren’t. They’re insects.
Reading these words while watching the video with the sound off made me laugh out loud, and I need all the laughs I can get.
I truly do miss the UFO’s of the ’70’s. Where have they gone? Did we scare them away, or did they fade like the Face on Mars when a higher resolution picture was obtained?
Anyway, Bad Astronomy is a fun read for a science nerd, click here for the whole story.