By Miguel Otarola and Domenico Nicosia
The Arizona Republic
Valley residents were left speculating after what was apparently a large balloon was spotted Monday evening above the Phoenix area.
National Weather Service received several calls about the balloon. Dan Leins of the Weather Service said the object was not one of the service’s weather balloons, but believed it could be a high-altitude balloon released from a White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.
“These balloons are massive in the ground,” said Dan Leins, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service station in Phoenix. “They only get bigger when they go up in the atmosphere.”
The National Weather Service usually launches a weather balloon at around 4:30 p.m. every day, Leins said. But the balloon pops once it hits an altitude of 50,000 feet, and the observation ends at about 5:30 p.m. . . .
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