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Earth Space

Gigantic Spiral of Light Observed Over Norway; Rocket To Blame? 418

Ch_Omega writes "A mysterious light display appearing over Norway last night (more pictures) has left thousands of residents in the north of the country baffled. Witnesses from Trøndelag to Finnmark compared the amazing display to anything from a Russian rocket to a meteor to a shock wave — although no one appears to have mentioned UFOs yet. The phenomenon began when what appeared to be a blue light seemed to soar up from behind a mountain. It stopped mid-air, then began to circulate. Within seconds a giant spiral had covered the entire sky. Then a green-blue beam of light shot out from its center — lasting for ten to twelve minutes before disappearing completely. The Norwegian Meteorological Institute was flooded with telephone calls after the light storm — which astronomers have said did not appear to have been connected to the aurora, or Northern Lights, so common in that area of the world." The Bad Astronomer makes the case that a malfunctioning rocket spewing fuel is a parsimonious explanation, backed up by witnesses to similar events and a cool simulation (on video). An anonymous reader suggests that this Proton-M Carrier Rocket might be responsible for the display.
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Gigantic Spiral of Light Observed Over Norway; Rocket To Blame?

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