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Earth Space Science

Bizarre Expanding Light Halo Seen By Hawaii Webcam 38

Posted by timothy
from the only-part-of-the-sky-is-falling dept.
The Bad Astronomer writes "A webcam mounted at the CFHT observatory in Hawaii caught a strange, expanding halo of light on the night of June 22. Announced on the Starship Asterisk forum, readers quickly honed in on the likely culprit: the terminal charge from the third stage of a Minuteman III missile. Very similar to the Norway Spiral of 2009, and scientific sleuthing at its best!"
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Bizarre Expanding Light Halo Seen By Hawaii Webcam

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  • It was one of the screens in the planet jacker [wikia.com] shell degaussing!

  • A good summary (Score:5, Informative)

    by bosah (2117736) on Thursday June 30, 2011 @05:18PM (#36627864)
    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2011/06/29/awesomely-weird-expanding-halo-of-light-seen-from-hawaii/ [discovermagazine.com] Another link on said pretty thing that reads better than the forum.
  • by slshwtw (1903272) on Thursday June 30, 2011 @05:29PM (#36627996)

    6/22/2011 - VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- A scheduled unarmed operational test Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile launch occurred at 6:35 a.m. June 22 from Launch Facility-10 here

    A few of the apod.com forum users came up with the likely explanation that the effect is due to an ICBM launch from Vandenberg AFB. The timestamp of the video (accounting for time zone difference) and the Eastward direction of observation correlate with this explanation.

    • by Dr Caleb (121505)

      So close. Only off by 3 months!

      (The original article states "22 March".)

      • by slshwtw (1903272)
        The date stamp on the video is 2011-06-22. The astronomer saying it was March 22nd is probably a typo.
        • by PPH (736903)

          Those wacky astronomers!

          Now people will devote their careers hypothesizing stuff like dark energy and new particles to account for the time discrepancy.

    • Operator: Sir we have a launch indication!
      Supervisor: Where is it?
      Operator: US
      Operator: California
      Operator: VAN-DEN-BERG!
      Supervisor: OH !@#$ hit the red alert thingy!
      Operator: I need to call my mom before I die for no reason. She worries.
      James Bond: you are already dead.
      James Bond: This grave is too small. I will make sure you fit in.
      James Bond: Tomorrow shall not suffer the likes of you, for today, you die.

      This almost but not quite entirely unlike an actual scene from the movie Moonraker. The way they

      • by Boronx (228853)

        And anyone who live near it ... but probably none of those are Americans.

      • Hmmm. My passport says I'm an American. My birth certificate says I'm an American. I guess both were forged.

      • by Coren22 (1625475)

        Um, it was an alternate landing location for the shuttle...who didn't know that?

        • It was also going to be a launch location for military shuttles, which never actually happened. The movie assumed it would and added it to the story. It's nice that they did that. Those who know why probably appreciate it, and those who don't know pay it no attention.

          Not that anyone looks at that movie much.

  • Someone forgot to press the button.

  • Now suddenly, I have a cutie mark. Go figure.

  • Did anyone actually see this Halo but not through the webcam? If not then this artifact has as much credibility of being anything as the "orbs" on Ghost Hunters are evidence of the dearly departed

    • All the info you need is in the summary links - yes, two astronomers saw it with their own eyes. (and night vision equipment, and obviously the two cameras in two differing locations that you don't trust)

  • The email states the effect was witnessed MARCH 22, not July 22, which is when the missile launch was scheduled.
    • June, not July, not that it matters either way. Maybe it was another Minuteman launch in March that they forgot to mention.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yes, it does. But if you watch the video again and look at the time stamp, it clearly says 6-22. Most likely a typo in the email due to over excitement, too much to drink, excessively fat fingers, being locked in a dark room looking through a telescope for x number of months, take your pick. Its possible that the camera's clock was wrong, but I trust machines over humans any day.

  • ...and I, for one, will welcome our bug-eyed monster overlords. After all, this is obviously the light halo of an extraterrestrial FTL spaceship, not a "missile" at all...

    rgb
  • Some years back, a friend and I were reclined in the backyard looking straight up. We saw a light that expanded in a circular fashion to about half the size of the full moon, then it went away just as fast. I tried to search on google to see if anyone else in the area had noticed it, but could not figure out how to type such a thing into google. To this day I do not know for sure what it was. That night we assumed it was a meteor that was burning through the atmosphere and headed straight for us, that f

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