Airplanes (Night)

At night, aircraft display blinking running lights. When aircraft are photographed with a long exposure, such as in night mode settings on many cameras, the lights appear as a dotted line.

Airplanes are fixed-wing aircraft propelled forward by thrust from a jet engine, propeller, or rocket engine. There are an average of over 9,000 commercial airplanes in the sky at any given time.

Long exposure of an airplane's running lights at night.
Long exposure of an airplane's running lights at night.
Various Plane Lights Diagram

There are many potential explanations for sightings. We recommend eliminating the most common and mundane before jumping to less probable conclusions or you submit a report.

Resources

Flight & Marine Trackers

Live flight tracking maps are available for monitoring airline traffic and trajectories in real-time or historically around the world.

FlightAware

Flightradar24

ADS-B Exchange

Marine Traffic

Space Launches

Planned launches occur regularly all over the globe. These tracks can help identify the potential missions or launches in your area.

SpaceLaunchSchedule.com

SpaceFlightNow.com

RocketLaunch.Live

Satellite Trackers

Satellite tracking can also be done in real-time with the aid of tracking maps. They are also helpful for tracking Starlink launches.

Heavens Above

Space Weather

There are a number of sites which track solar flares, magnetic storms, and other events which are helpful for eliminating explanations related to astronomic phenomena.

Spaceweather.com

Spaceweather.gov

Méprises Du Ciel

French site (with English translations) with resources and examples covering the most commonly observed phenomena and explanations for UFOs.