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Weird Giant Spiral Seen in Sky over Norway

Published by Matt on Thu Dec 10, 2009 1:25 pm via: Universe Today
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Apparently, this is not a Photoshopped image, as there are several more just like it, taken from various locations. On the morning of 9 dec in northern Norway, people saw a strange light in the sky which shocked residents and so far, the phenomenon has yet to be explained.

The picture below was taken from a pier, looking to the east, approximately at 07.50 am local time. “I can imagine that it went on for two, three minutes,” said the photographer Jan Petter Jørgensen. “It was unbelievable. I was quite shaken when I saw it.”

Light in the sky over Norway, see at 7:50 am local time. Photo: Jan Petter Jørgensen via Vaeret

Light in the sky over Norway, see at 7:50 am local time. Photo: Jan Petter Jørgensen via Vaeret

“It consisted initially of a green beam of light similar in colour to the aurora with a mysterious rotating spiral at one end,” said another eyewitness, Nick Banbury of Harstad, quoted on Spaceweather.com. “This spiral then got bigger and bigger until it turned into a huge halo in the sky with the green beam extending down to the earth. According to the press, this could be seen all over northern norway and must therefore have been very high up in the atmosphere to be seen hundreds of km apart.”

The spiral as seen over Borras, Norway. Via Altaposten.no

The spiral as seen over Borras, Norway. Via Altaposten.no

Just what created the big blue spiral in the sky over Norway in the early morning hours of Dec. 9, 2009? Time traveling Borgs? Psychedelic aliens? Most likely, it was something much more terrestrial and much more boring. Many reports say it was the failed launch of a Russian rocket, probably a Bulava ICBM, a problem-plagued Russian missile that reportedly had several test launches scheduled.

Although Russian officials haven’t confirmed this (and in fact one official denied there was any rocket launch in the area) an anonymous Russian military source said it actually was failed launch from a submarine in the White Sea early Wednesday morning.

In what seems to confirm a rocket launch, yesterday, a message from NAVTEX was issued message warning airplanes not to fly, and ships not to sail in that area:

031230 UTC DEC 09
09 DC 0200 TO 0900 10 DEC 0100 TO 0900

Additionally, a researcher at the Tromsø Geophysical Observatory (where they observe auroras) Truls Lynne Hansen is certain that the light was caused by a missile launch. “The missile has probably come out of control and exploded,” Hansen was quoted in the Barents Observer. “The peculiar spiral shaped light pattern comes from reflection of the sun in the leaking fuel.”

Visible in the images and videos is the sunlight just beginning to peek over the horizon which would have back-lit the fuel.

Another launch on November 1 also caused strange light phenomenon in northern parts of Norway, although not as spectacular as the one today. It also caused speculation as to the cause, but it came from the launch of a Sineva missile from the nuclear submarine in the White Sea.

Doug Ellison from UnmannedSpaceflight.com has created a video showing the morphology of a tumbling rocket stage throwing out unspent fuel in two directions. “This is a set of rendered views using 3DS Max to produce a coarse simulation of what may have occurred to produce the beautiful formation in the sky over Norway earlier today,” he said. “It is not an ‘official’ answer, though. It looks beautiful, but there’s probably a fairly ordinary explanation.”

I don't think a failed rocket launch could ever cause the types of rings observed. Many have been filmed - they're nothing like the sky spiral. They looks like polarization. There was a second sky spiral over Eastern Australia in 2010... This might offer an explanation, let's see how long before it gets deleted:
The orientation of the facility matches the direction of that blue cone.
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