Midvalley residents looked skyward Wednesday and easily spotted test balloons being used to gauge the visibility of a 1,500-megawatt, natural gas-fired power plant Chicago-based Invenergy LLC wants to build in Jessup.

As Times-Tribune Staff Writer Jon O’Connell reports today, the balloons were floated at 200 feet, approximating the height of the plant’s vent stacks, and at 100 feet, the height of the steam turbine buildings.

The balloons were visible from miles around, bobbing on tethers considerably thinner than vent stacks. That was without columns of emissions that would only make the plant more visible once in operation.

Many residents took photos and posted them on social media, including plant opponents Citizens for a Healthy Jessup. Check out their gallery on Facebook.

Invenergy officials — to whom we can assume the balloons were also visible –said the company was careful to choose a site  “behind a stand of mature trees, taking into account as well the natural features of the land.”

So if you saw the balloons, don’t believe your lying eyes.