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Mon, 27 Jan 2020
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Strange Skies


Rare fogbow photographed on the Cardigan Bay coast, Wales

fog bow wales
© Brett Critchley
Brett Critchley captured the meteorological phenomenon in Tywyn, Gwynedd
A rare white rainbow has been pictured over a seaside resort in Gwynedd.

The meteorological phenomenon was spotted by people in Tywyn on the Cardigan Bay coast on Thursday morning.

Also known as a fogbow, cloud bow or ghost rainbow, the arc is formed when sunlight interacts with small water droplets contained in fog, mist or cloud.

Comment: Strange and rare sights in our skies are becoming ever more common:


New mysterious radio flash discovered

FRB 180916
© Gemini Observatory / NSF’s National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory / AURA
This image shows the host galaxy of FRB 180916 (center), where the FRB itself is marked with a green circle.
The source of fast radio bursts (FRBs), flashes of radio waves that convey in a few milliseconds the power that the Sun radiates in a day, remains an open question in astronomy. Although astronomers have spotted more than 100 FRBs, most are so brief that they're difficult to locate on the sky.

Now, Benito Marcote (JIVE, The Netherlands) announced at last week's meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Honolulu that he and his colleagues have pinned down the precise location of a fifth radio flash. The result sheds light on the environment around these still-mysterious sources.

The Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) telescope in Canada originally discovered the radio flash, referred to as FRB 180916.J0158+65. Then, as the source continued to emit flashes, eight radio dishes that are part of the European VLBI Network (EVN) pinned down the source to the outskirts of a spiral galaxy. The astronomers used the 8-meter Gemini North telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawai'i, to image the region, finding that whatever had produced the radio flash had a nursery of newborn stars for company.

The environment around this so-called repeater is similar to the location of the first repeater: a region that's forming new stars. This contrasts with the locations of single FRB flashes, Marcote says, all which have been localized to distant massive galaxies with low star formation rates.

This latest addition to FRBs with a known locations suggests that the two types — repeating and non-repeating — have different origins. But astronomers are still far from understanding what those origins are.


Powerful magnetic explosion '3 times closer than normal' discovered on Earth's doorstep

Auroras in the aftermath of a near-Earth magnetic explosion on Dec. 20, 2015
© Joseph Bradley of Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada
Auroras in the aftermath of a near-Earth magnetic explosion on Dec. 20, 2015.
From the always excellent spaceweather.com comes the news that on December 20, 2015, a powerful 'explosion' occurred closer to Earth than anyone had seen before.

It has taken researchers more than 4 years to fully wrap their minds around what happened, and their results were published just this week in the January 13, 2020 edition of Nature Physics.

Explosions in Earth's magnetic field happen all the time, writes Dr. Tony Philips of spaceweather.com. Gusts of solar wind press against Earth's magnetosphere, squeezing lines of magnetic force together. The lines crisscross and reconnect, literally exploding and propelling high energy particles toward Earth — auroras are the afterglow of this process.

"Usually, these explosions happen at least 100,000 miles from Earth, far downstream in our planet's magnetic tail," explains the study's lead author Vassilis Angelopoulos of UCLA.

"On December 20, 2015, however, we observed a reconnection event only 30,000 miles away-more than 3 times closer than normal."

The discovery was a case of good luck and perfect timing.

Comment: Weird 'electrical surge' detected running through ground in northern Norway - Auroras follow


'Upside-down rainbow' spotted in central Taiwan

Circumzenithal arc
© Facebook/Chen (陳)
A Taiwanese citizen surnamed Chen (陳) captured a photograph of an upside-down rainbow in the Taichung sky Monday morning (Jan. 6) and decided to share the rare sight with the public.

According to Chen, he came across the unusual rainbow in Dongshi District while on his way to work. He said that this was the first time he had observed such a phenomenon and that he was amused by the "smile in the sky."

The Central Weather Bureau's (CWB) Taichung Weather Station said that the "upside-down rainbow" is known as a circumzenithal arc, and despite being similar in appearance to a rainbow, it is actually produced by the sun interacting with ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere rather than by light refracting through raindrops, reported Liberty Times.


Weird 'electrical surge' detected running through ground in northern Norway - Auroras follow

Yesterday, Jan. 6th, something unexpected happened in the soil of northern Norway. "Electrical currents started flowing," reports Rob Stammes, who monitors ground currents at the Polarlightcenter geophysical observatory in Lofoten. This chart recording shows the sudden surge around 1930 UT:

Graph from Polarlightcenter geophysical observatory, Norway
© Polarlightcenter geophysical observatory
"It seemed to be some kind of shockwave," says Stammes. "My instruments detected a sudden, strong variation in both ground currents and our local magnetic field. It really was a surprise."

Comment: And this happened while the Sun is quiet. Is the solar system 'grounded' by... a distant body, perhaps a 'twin Sun'?


Brocken spectre: Rare weather phenomenon captured on film by walker in Wales

brocken spectre
Screenshot: Capturing a rare weather effect on New Year's Day
A walker has captured images of a rare weather phenomenon called Brocken spectre on New Year's Day.

Rhys Pleming was climbing Snowdon, Gwynedd, with his friend and they made it to the summit at about 08:15 GMT for the sunrise.

Mr Pleming said the clouds began to cover the summit and another walker spotted the rare weather effect.

The Met Office says the Brocken spectre appears when a large shadow of an observer is cast on to cloud or mist.

Comment: For more recent wondrous sights, check out:


'Strongest colors ever seen': Iridescent clouds make another spectacular appearance above skies in South Iceland

iridescent clouds
© Mbl.is/Jónas Erlendsson
The sky above Vík í Mýrdal Friday morning.
Spectacular iridescent clouds formed in the sky above South Iceland Friday morning. As the sun came up, the sky was filled with rainbow colors.

Mbl.is reporter Jónas Erlendsson took the photo above east of Vík í Mýrdal between the hours of 9 and 10 am Friday. He states these are the strongest-colored iridescent clouds he has ever seen.

Another photo, sent to mbl.is , was taken in Hornafjörður, Southeast Iceland the same morning. It appears Nature took out its palette and brushes to create the most beautiful sight.

Comment: Recent reports of iridescent clouds (also known as Nacreous or Polar Stratospheric Clouds) have included comments such as that from residents who have lived in the area for 70 years stating that they were "once in a lifetime" events. Taken together with the numerous other sights in our skies, and other Earth Changes phenomena, it's clear that there are great changes afoot on our planet: Also check out SOTT radio's: And SOTTs monthly report documenting these events:


Spectacular 'Sun Dog' observed in Jilin, northeastern China

Halo and sundog in KC, MO
© Teresa and Mark Harvey
Residents in the city of Fuyu, northeast China's Jilin Province were thrilled to see three "suns" in the sky on the last day of 2019.

Around 8 a.m., two glowing spots were seen on the left and right side of the actual sun. The two extra "suns" were relatively bigger while the middle one smaller. The scene lasted for around 20 minutes.

This spectacular view, caused by a natural phenomenon called "sun dog," is also known as mock suns or parhelia.

As a result of light refraction through ice crystals, "sun dogs" become colored spots of light. This is an atmospheric optical phenomenon in nature, said Hu Xiao, the chief analyst of a weather reporting website.

The scenery is relatively rare, requesting strict meteorological conditions. First, the temperature required must be as below as minus 20. Besides temperature, the time of its occurrence is normally after sunshine but before morning, with a somewhat abundant amount of ice crystals.

The phenomenon went viral on Chinese social media, and some netizens referred to it as a rare scene in the story of Hou Yi.

Comment: It's not just the prevalence of 'ice crystals' in the atmosphere that creates conditions for this 'optical illusion' - it's particulates in general, so... volcanic dust, meteor 'smoke', smoke from wildfires...

All of which appear to be on the rise globally, hence the ever more regular appearance of what were once atmospheric 'anomalies'.


Adapt 2030 Ice Age Report: Jet streams break while 'once in a century' is our new norm

Polar Stratospheric Clouds over Lapland
© YouTube/Adapt 2030 (screen capture)
Earth's winds and jet streams are reversing their flow sending record heat to Norway 15C/60F after Christmas and the Balkans are -5C/22F along the Adriatic Sea. Once in a lifetime Polar Stratospheric Clouds, coldest December temperature recorded in Pakistan. Update on Blue Star Kachina comet C/2017K2 arriving 2022.

Comment: See also: A recent study predicts the next solar cycle phase will bring on a 'Mini Ice Age' as early as 2020, as according to the models, there will be a "huge reduction" in solar activity for 33 years between 2020 and 2053. This will cause global temperatures to decrease drastically. Meanwhile NASA predicts the weakest solar activity in 200 years.

Jet Stream meanderings, and much more, are explained by Pierre Lescaudron in his book Earth Changes and the Human Cosmic Connection:
So since about 1998, when the solar activity started to drop, the Arctic jet stream has shown signs of weakness (lower speed and more southerly location). Jet stream latitudinal oscillations have been acknowledged by mainstream science for years. They are allegedly due to changes in the Arctic oscillation. [561] So far, no convincing explanation has been provided for the causes of this 'oscillation'. However, if the electric nature of our solar system is taken into account, shifts in the jet stream begin to make sense...

Therefore, if solar activity is weak, the jet stream should be observed at abnormally low latitudes. This is what has happened in recent years, particularly over Europe, with the jet stream as low as 15° north in winter (above North Africa) when it should be around 60° north (above Scotland)...

In this way, a lasting decrease in solar activity would induce an overall cooling of the 'temperate' latitudes that would be increasingly less separated from Arctic air by a more frequently and abnormally south-shifting polar jet stream. This could be an aggravating factor in the quick onset of an ice age.


"Once in a lifetime" outbreak of polar stratospheric clouds captured on video above Sweden

polar stratospheric clouds
© Vimeo/Lights Over Lapland
A spectacular outbreak of polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs) is underway around the Arctic Circle. "This is a once in a lifetime event," says Chad Blakley, who runs the Lights over Lapland aurora tour service in Abisko, Sweden. "No question, this is the best that any of us have ever seen." Tour guide Paige Ellis took this video showing the clouds' aurora-like colors on Dec. 29th:

"They were so intense that lots of the tourists on the ground thought they were looking at daytime auroras. I had to explain that they were actually clouds in the stratosphere," says Blakley.

Polar stratospheric clouds are newsworthy because normally the stratosphere has no clouds at all. Home to the ozone layer, the stratosphere is arid and almost always transparent. Only when the temperature drops to a staggeringly cold -85C can sparse water molecules assemble themselves into icy stratospheric clouds. PSCs are far more rare than auroras.

Comment: Dazzling sights in our skies are on the increase, and so it remains to be seen if this really is a "once in a lifetime" event: And check out these other snaps taken during the outbreak: