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Mon, 19 Aug 2019
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Strange Skies

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UAE residents spot rare 'fallstreak hole' - First in a decade

UAE hole punch cloud or fallstreak hole
© Directorate General of Meteorology in Oman
Also known as a hole punch cloud, the fallstreak hole is a large gap that can appear in cirrocumulus or altocumulus clouds.

Also known as a hole punch cloud, it is often attributed to UFOs

A rare cloud sometimes mistaken for an alien invasion was spotted over Al Ain on Sunday.

The fallstreak hole, also known as a hole punch cloud, is a large circular gap that forms in cirrocumulus or altocumulus clouds.

The unusual phenomenon happens when supercool droplets that have not yet frozen mix with ice crystals caused by airplanes passing through the cloud.

The ice crystals then start to fall, causing water droplets around them to evaporate. This process leaves a large hole in the cloud.

Although science has already answered the question of what a fallstreak hole is, because of their rarity and unusual appearance, they are often attributed to unidentified flying objects.

Comment: In recent times this rare cloud phenomena has appeared over Canada, Southern California, UK, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

Other strange cloud anomalies seem to be appearing globally with higher frequency and intensity. Factors which may contribute to these 'strange skies' are atmospheric dust loading from increased comet and volcanic activity and changes in the layers of the atmosphere. See also: An indicator of this dust loading is the intensification of noctilucent clouds we are observing. As explained in Pierre Lescaudron's book, Earth Changes and the Human-Cosmic Connection:
The increase in noctilucent clouds is one of the effects - among others - of increased dust concentration in the atmosphere in general, and in the upper atmosphere in particular. We suspect that most of this atmospheric dust is of cometary origin, while some of it may be due to the recent increase in volcanic activity.
See also: Chemtrails? Contrails? Strange skies


Helicopter pilot sees UFO through his night vision goggles over Las Vegas

UFO Over Vegas
© Pixabay
Flying some 15 miles west over central Las Vegas over the weekend, the pilot of an air ambulance helicopter caught sight of a strange object that he was only able to detect after strapping on his night vision goggles.

The curious event was described to an air traffic controller by the pilot of an Agusta A109 chopper owned by Colorado-based company Air Methods, The Drive reported. The eyebrow-raising conversation unfolded on Sunday at roughly 9 p.m. local time.

"Just to advise. It looks like I have some sort of object over the southern hills area. It looks to be about 7,000 feet. It could be a balloon or something along those lines," the pilot informs the controller. "It's unlit, so... just advise."

Seconds later, the pilot is told that nothing is showing up on the controller's radar, but that the lack of confirmation doesn't necessarily mean that something isn't out and about trying to spook the concerned flyer.

"Yeah... I got night vision goggles," the pilot told the air traffic controller. "I can only see it through the goggles."

And with that, the air traffic official was amazed. "Oh, that's awesome," was his response.


New celestial phenomenon, STEVE, closely correlated with violent disturbances in Earth's magnetosphere says study

Steve Phenomenon
© Alan Dyer
Researchers find a violent potential origin for the aurora-like phenomenon dubbed STEVE events, pictured here in southern Alberta.
Earlier this year, researchers announced that long, narrow streaks of purple light occasionally observed in the nighttime sky are not a new type of aurora, as first suspected, but a novel upper atmospheric phenomenon. Dubbed Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement (STEVE) because of their association with fast-moving ions and hot electrons in Earth's ionosphere, these celestial lights are often visible at lower latitudes than most auroras and appear to be caused by a different, and still undetermined, mechanism.

To better characterize STEVE, Gallardo-Lacourt et al. conducted the first statistical analysis of this optical phenomenon. Using NASA's Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS) ground-based All-Sky Imager array and the Canadian Space Agency's Redline Geospace Observatory (REGO) databases, the team identified and analyzed optical data from 28 STEVE events that occurred between December 2007 and December 2017.


2,700-year-old giant solar storm detected in Greenland ice

Solar Storm
© Solar Dynamics Observatory/ESA/NASA
Flares erupting on the Sun in 2014.
Evidence of an unusually strong solar storm that hit Earth in 660 BCE has been detected in Greenland ice cores-a finding which shows we still have lots to learn about these disruptive events.

An extreme form of solar storm, known as a solar proton event (SPE), struck our planet 2,679 years ago, according to new research published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. If an event of such magnitude were to happen today, it would likely wreak havoc on our technological infrastructure, including communications and navigation. Lund University geologist Raimund Muscheler and his colleagues presented evidence in the form of elevated levels of beryllium-10 and chlorine-36 isotopes embedded within ancient Greenland ice cores.

It's now the third massive SPE known to scientists, the others occurring 1,245 and 1,025 years ago. This latest discovery means solar storms of this variety are likely happening more frequently than we thought-perhaps once every 1,000 years-but more data is required to create more reliable estimates.

SPEs happen in the wake of a massive solar flare or coronal mass ejection on the Sun. These stellar events send streams of particles, including high-energy protons, toward Earth, where they interact with the Earth's atmosphere, triggering reactions that increase the rate of radionuclide production, including carbon-14, beryllium-10, and chlorine-36 (radionuclides are unstable atoms with excess nuclear energy). Traditionally, SPEs have been detected as spikes of carbon-14 in tree rings, but they can also be spotted as spikes of beryllium-10 and chlorine-36 in ancient ice cores. The authors of the new study said scientists tend to overemphasize carbon-14 at the expense of searching for other markers, and that "efforts to find [SPEs] based solely on [carbon-14] data likely lead to an underestimated number of such potentially devastating events for our society."


Is lower latitude aurora evidence of an upcoming Ice Age?

Fireball over central Wales
© Sean Weekly
A meteor enters the earth's atmosphere over the snowy hills of the Elan Valley in Powys while ethereal green 'airglow' spreads across the sky.
A recent article in the British newspaper The Express titled, "Northern Lights in the UK: Can you watch Aurora Borealis from UK? Where can you see it?" raises interesting questions and comparisons with historical events. It also appears to reinforce the climate forecasts for the next few decades.

Source: Daily Express
Sir Edmund Halley (1656 - 1742) was one of the great astronomers in history. He proved his science in the best way possible by making an accurate prediction. He predicted the return of a comet that they then named after him. I became familiar with his work while working on the climate record of the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) at Churchill, Manitoba.

The record was given a great scientific boost when in 1768/9 two astronomers, William Wales and Joseph Dymond arrived in Churchill to measure the Transit of Venus. Halley first identified this event and devised a procedure to gather data to determine the distance of the Earth from the Sun. This distance was critical to accurately testing Newton's theory of gravity. A Transit occurred in 1761, but lack of knowledge and a useable technique resulted in failure. The 1769 Transit was critical because another Transit would not occur for 105 years.

Comment: SOTT has been documenting unusually low latitude auroras as well the increase of previously rare colours - along with a multitude of other rarely or never seen before phenomena. Below is a selection of aurora sightings in the UK, and it's notable that they're still reported as
"rare", which is true, in a way, but clearly with our rapidly changing environment what was once considered rare is now occurring with increasing regularity: Also check out SOTT radio's: Behind the Headlines: Earth changes in an electric universe: Is climate change really man-made?


Amazing LONG line spotted above the Earth from ISS

line in sky


New insights into coronal mass ejections

Coronal Mass Ejection
A coronal mass ejection captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory in September, 2017.
An international team of astronomers has untangled new insight into the birth of coronal mass ejections, the most massive and destructive explosions from the sun.

In a paper published in the journal Science Advances, a team led by Tingyu Gou from the University of Science and Technology of China was able to clearly observe the onset and evolution of a major solar eruption for the first time.

From a distance the sun seems benevolent and life-giving, but on closer inspection it is seething with powerful fury. Its outer layer - the corona - is a hot and wildly energetic place that constantly sends out streams of charged particles in great gusts of solar wind.

It also emits localised flashes known as flares, as well as enormous explosions of billions of tons of magnetised plasma called coronal mass ejections (CMEs).

These eruptions could potentially have a big effect on Earth. CMEs can damage satellite electronics, kill astronauts on space walks, and cause magnetic storms that can disrupt electricity grids.


Christ-like image appears in stunning sunset over Agropoli, Italy

Christ image in Italian sky
© Caters News
The unusual light in the sky seems to show an image of Jesus Christ as it appears above the Tyrrhenian Sea once the sunlight breaks through the clouds
Talk about a heavenly view. Shining among the clouds hovering over a seaside town in Italy, a man captured what appeared to be Jesus Christ illuminated in the sky, arms spread out wide during sunset.

The now-viral image, taken on March 1, shows golden sun rays beaming down over the Tyrrhenian Sea near the western coast of Italy, seeming to take the shape of the religious figure through a break in the clouds.

"As soon as I saw that luminous image, I felt a great need to take it and share it," Alfredo Lo Brutto told Barbara Di Palma, a reporter for "La Vita In Diretta," a news and entertainment show on Italian TV. "I immediately recognized her as the image of Christ the Redeemer, with open arms, as if he wanted to bless the whole city of Agropoli."

Lo Brutto captured the photo at the Piazza Sanseverino in his hometown of Agropoli, a small town near Italy's scenic Amalfi Coast about an hour and a half drive south of Pompeii.


Researchers detect giant cosmic bubbles emitting shockwaves through galaxy

NGC 3079 Galaxy
© X-ray: NASA/CXC/University of Michigan/J-T Li et al.; Optical: NASA/STScI
The galaxy NGC 3079, located 67 million light-years from Earth, appears to be blowing two enormous gas bubbles near its galactic center. This combined X-ray and optical light image reveals the superbubbles in their gassy glory.
Astronomers have discovered a distant galaxy that's giddily blowing bubbles like a toddler with a glass of chocolate milk. Unlike milk bubbles, however, these two huge galactic balloons are filled with gas, stretch a few thousand light-years across and appear to be crackling with charged particles 100 times more energetic than any found on Earth.

Using data from the Hubble Space Telescope and NASA's Chandra X-Ray Observatory, researchers detected the bubbles jiggling near the center of a galaxy named NGC 3079, located about 67 million light-years away from Earth. Bubbles like these are known as "superbubbles" because, well, they're supersized. According to the team's study in the Feb. 28 issue of The Astrophysical Journal, one of the newly discovered bubbles measures 4,900 light-years across, and the other measures 3,600 light-years across. (For comparison, the diameter of Neptune's orbit around the sun is about 5.6 billion miles, or 9 billion kilometers - one-thousandth of one light-year.)

Superbubbles form when powerful shock waves shove the gases released by stars far into space, leaving a bubble-shaped cavity behind. Scientists still don't fully understand how these massive gas cavities form.


Spectacular photos of iridescent clouds in Bucegi Mountains, Romania

Iridescent clouds in the Bucegi Mountains, Romania
© Răzvan Neagoe
Iridescent clouds in the Bucegi Mountains, Romania
Spectacular photos of iridescent clouds in the Bucegi Mountains, Romania have gone viral on the internet. Captured at sunset by photographer Răzvan Neagoe the phenomenon lasted for 20 minutes on Sunday 24th February 2019 reports stirileprotv.ro.

Iridescent clouds in the Bucegi Mountains, Romania
© Răzvan Neagoe
Iridescent clouds in the Bucegi Mountains, Romania