A blue light first appeared from behind a mountain, and created a giant spiral in the sky within seconds. Perhaps even more baffling, a green-blue beam of light appeared to shoot from the center. The entire display remained in the sky for a good ten to twelve minutes--enough time for photographers across Norway to shoot hundreds of images and capture video:
Universe Today raises the possibility that the spiraling pattern represents a tumbling rocket stage spewing fuel. But Russia denied having conducted missile tests in the area.
UpdateA consensus has grown that a rocket launch was the cause. Some folks from the Bad Astronomy/Universe Today forum have whipped up a 3D simulation of how a fuel dump from a rocket motor could cause exactly what was observed:
It's also worth noting that a similar phenomenon apparently appeared over China back in April 2009:
We're still betting on some rocket test gone awry, or else a really far-out art display by a guerilla artiste with a penchant for science. Inter-dimensional research or the beginning stages of an alien invasion remain farther down the probability list.
Check out more photos of the phenomenon here
Nifty! While I'd be overjoyed if this was (non-classified) evidence of extraterrestrial visitors, it's still pretty impressive, even if it was just another rock burning up in our atmosphere.
And before you alien-invasion folks start in, if they wanted to wipe us out, they could just hack our military's communication systems, locate our defense installations, and destroy them all at once from space. If this were evidence of ET's, the fact that our planet hasn't suffered massive orbital bombardment would seem to indicate that they're friendly, or at least more curious than hostile.
curiouser and curiouser
Very odd thing. Very interested as to what cuased it. I suspect some kinda metal meterior hitting the magneticsphere and cuasing a wierd wave in it that could bend light, but really have no idea how to prove it.
Could it be that this bizzar light show is what happens when Dark Matter particles Enter the stratosphere?
It's collisions in the Large Hadron Collider opening portals to another dimension.
dangit johncos! you beat me too it! LHC most definitely.
I like the mystery, and I think it is funny that people are always so ready either to deny alien involvement or to endorse it. I feel like this is a fairly easy mystery to solve, or at least to eliminate
Triangulate based on footage and find out exactly how high the spiral was and what the real trajectory and speed was. There is a finite range in which the most plausible (rocket) explanation is even possible. If it was too low, couldn't be a rocket or wind would have distorted the spiral, if it was too high the spiral is simply too big and the rocket traveling too fast. Also, I can see the perspective argument, but given the overlay light one could easily calculate trajectory. Based on what I see, it looks like it is headed towards the camera, on an arc, which would mean that if it is a rocket, they almost just started WW3.
Oh and BTW, since statistically speaking there is a high likelihood of intelligent alien life in the universe, I for for one welcome our new alien overlords. Without aliens, man kind will never find peace, and since we are not dead, we can assume if they are here...they are friendly...or at least SUPER lazy.
If that's a UFO, too bad for them, because if it is then they are in serious poo... The pattern looks like a catastrophic pressure leak to me.
Seriously speaking; this might be the result of a liquid-fuel rocket springing a leak high up in the atmosphere.
The eerie "cone of light" is propably the exhaust plume of the rocket, and the "spiral" the evicted fuel. With the black night sky behind, and the sun shining trough the upper layers of the stratosphere, you might get this kind of "glowing" effect.
I was hoping this would be a new firework and I could see them explode at my next trip to Disney Land..... Bummer
@NikitaJ: I kind of agree with you on the point that life, and with a very high propability intelligent life exists somewhere else in the universe.
I just have a hard time to believe we've been "visited".
Looking at the first picture, at the top of the article, it looked suspiciously PhotoShopped and most likely is -- badly done, BTW. But, looking at the videos was more interesting.
My first thoughts brought me back to the Laser Rock Concerts they used to have back in the 70s when I was a kid. The blue laser light starts as a point then spreads to a ring. (I didn't actually see a spiral.) I've seen laser shows with weird cloud formations on TV too. Not exactly new. -- maybe a laser light show test or rehearsal.
Then, the yellow spirals, which is a separate event that occurred over China back in April, looked like exhaust from a rocket with a leaky gasket causing it to spiral -- maybe a rocket malfunction.
If the blue light can be tied to the yellow spirals, (and I don't see how one could make such an association), then it could be a new laser weapon to take down rockets -- maybe. But,it's blue. Weapons grade lasers are invisible. But, what do I know?
Maybe -- Massive Dynamic is trying to open up a permanent gateway to the Alternate Universe. (They have a website, you know.)
@Quintus: I agree that it is less than likely, but hell, it is less than likely that I could be motivated to get out of bed in the morning, and yet it happens everyday...statistics is funny like that.
And on the off chance that it is aliens, I am going to make one sit down with me and watch old Star Trek episodes. I wonder what an alien laughing its ass off will sound like...
Well lets eliminate the obvious, first off, can anyone find out when exactly this was and then correlate the date with the cloud cover in the area?
Assuming there was good cloud cover that could lend weight to the projected image theory, correct me if I'm wrong but I believe a projection would need a medium off of which to reflect?
Okay, you caught me. Never should have used those discounted parts for my galactic mind warper and global warmer. Believe me, I'm going to leave a scathing user review at the Website.
it was a russian rocket test. just check out the source links
Nice. Now why can't we have something like that in Texas? I wonder what causes that though.
I believe the top photo is a long time exposure, which accounts for the seemingly unnaturally bright foreground. I also did some research and found out that there was absolutely no cloud cover from around 6 pm Tuesday to now. I'm wondering if there was any noise that was associated with the lights. Wouldn't a rocket produce noise? It would be helpful to know the approximate hight of these light objects as well.
I wonder if we will ever know the truth.
Spiraling light nearly always accompanies black holes. In addition, the blue light from center vortex indicative of the expulsion of sub-atomic particles from both poles of a black hole. Looks like black holes are yet closer than we'd previously suspected. Just hope they burn out on their own without gobbling up the entire solar system.
Why do I look at image and expect to see a couple of guys from the 1960's popping out at any minute...
Seriously, though, I can buy the Russian rocket as an explanation for the material of the cloud, but what natural mechanism would account for such a beautiful and regular spiral shape? (Don't worry folks, I'm not suggesting aliens, but this is pretty unusual looking to be a regular cloud formation, regardless of its origin). I hope PopSci updates this story with more information regarding the possible causes of this display, because they've presented a real enigma here.
Want to know what is going on there after that. Is there any clue or sign of something there. It is not look like black hole because it doesn't swallow inward.
Again .. if someone did fireworks and it made twirling outward like the one in the video. But let us know the truth. :)
Clearly an inter-dimensional portal opened at the bottom of a pan-dimensional toilet and what we are seeing is the reflection of the bathroom light on the swirling water.
Now, this would lead me to ask whether any semi-solid matter found its way through the portal, or if it were only a "number one".
Although the symmetry of this phenomenon was impressive, it seems to have common features of a high altitude missile (there is a trail that leads to an origin point and it has been reported that the Russians were going to be doing missile tests this week). I think the question to ask is, What material was just atomized into the upper atmosphere over a great expanse of geography, and what environmental or health effects might it have, especially considering that our president is going to be in that area later this morning.
QIII: The Chinese one was No. 1. The Norwegian one was the cleaner.
I think if this were a rocket spiraling out of control it would tend to move around in the sky unless it is coming straight towards or heading directly away from the camera. Where it seems to be at a fixed point in each of the videos I tend to believe the dark matter collision idea. Probably the result of an attraction to sub atomic particles generated by LHC collisions, and it appears that the reaction between the dark matter, and our atmosphere is a beautiful spiral of light. Who would have guessed Van Gogh's "Stary Night" was actually an inspired peak into our future. Not unlike string theory I understand my theory is a bit difficult to grasp at first, but I would ask you to disprove either.
This looks like some sort of a laser projection on the sky. Probalbly a deed of a bunch of drunken geeks having a party in the mountains!!!
The first image says it all. Using the mountain/hill top to set-up and hide the projector. Really, nice projector. So is this thing going to be the next outdoor theater?
Looks to me what I would expect one version of an anti-missile defense to look like. The ability to stream large numbers of particles over a very large area would create an umbrella for a brief time of sorts.
However I enjoyed all the black, holes, alien, and Haldron collider theories. Not to say that we have a handle on the unknown or that scientist do not have a very long history of understating dangers to get funding.
The BBC has an article today stating that it was indeed a Russian missile failure.
"A Russian test launch of an intercontinental missile has failed, resulting in a white light seen over parts of Norway.
The submarine-based Bulava ballistic missile failed when launched from the White Sea, the Defence Ministry's press office told Itar-Tass news agency."
I was hoping for something more spectacular, but a missile test gone awry will just have to do for now.
Why are astronomers consulted about an atmospheric phenomena? Perhaps they also asked movie stars what their opinion was?