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Wed, 22 Aug 2018
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Strange Skies


'Upside-down rainbow' seen in Newcastle, UK sky

Circumzenithal arc over Newcastle
© Lewis Maudlin
Anybody spot an upside-down rainbow in the sky over Newcastle?

The phenomenon occurred over the city on Saturday evening and luckily someone got a picture.

Lewis Maudlin, 24, from Wallsend, was playing pool at his girlfriend's house in Walker when he clocked the uncommon sight.

He said: "It was lovely night, still dead sunny and clear after 7pm.


Cosmic history comes into question after new giant stars discovery

Giant Star
As Neil DeGrasse Tyson is fond of saying, "We are all stardust." Zooming out a bit, however, reveals that almost everything is stardust, more or less: after the Big Bang, stars were responsible for creating the heavier elements on the periodic table that eventually became the building blocks for planets, carbon-based life, and (in a roundabout way) Elon Musk.

Stars are so integral to our universe that astronomers and scientists can use stars' masses, births, and deaths to get a handle on the entire history of our cosmos.

And it turns out our current history may be wrong.

It comes down to this: More massive stars live shorter, brighter lives before exploding into supernovas, which can spur the creation of new stars, as well as black holes and even solar systems.

If you want to understand the patterns that shaped galaxies (and the rest of the universe), then you need to understand stars.

Cloud Lightning

Unusual outburst of red sprites during storm over Europe, and cosmic ray mapping expands

Red Sprites
© Martin Popek
Red Sprites June 8, 2018 @ Nýdek, Czech republic

Sprite lightning
storm over Europe

This weekend, a powerful mesoscale convective system (MSC) of thunderstorms over central Europe produced a furious outburst of sprites. "It was unreal," says Martin Popek of Nýdek, Czechia, a veteran photographer of the upward directed bolts. "I recorded more than 250 sprites in only 4.5 hours of observation! That's nearly as many as I typically see in the entire summer thunderstorm season."

This is a jellyfish sprite--so called because it resembles the eponymous sea creature. Jellyfish sprites are typically very large, stretching as much as 50 km between the tops of their heads to the tips of their tentacles below. "Regular jellyfish sprites are associated with very strong positive cloud-to-ground lightning strokes in the underlying convective storms," notes lightning scientist Oscar van der Velde of the Technical University of Catalonia, Spain.

However, not all of the jellyfish were regular. Some were "decapitated"--without heads. "I recorded about 20 sets of tentacles only," says Popek.

Here is one example of many:

Comment: We're seeing a surge of unusual phenomena on earth and in tandem similar changes are happening in our skies: For more, check out SOTTs monthly documentary: SOTT Earth Changes Summary - April 2018: Extreme Weather, Planetary Upheaval, Meteor Fireballs


Strange skies: Red Sprites in Oklahoma, aurora Steve in Canada, iridescent clouds in Illinois and noctilucent clouds in Denmark

red sprites oklahoma 30th May 2018
© Paul Smith
Red Sprite Lightning. May 30, 2018 @ Edmond, Oklahoma, USA
The epicentre of Sprite Alley

Oklahoma is a good place to see sprites. "I photograph them often," says Paul Smith of Edmond OK. "Here are some examples from May 30th flashing above fast-moving storms in the Oklahoma panhandle."

"Venus is the bright 'star' just behind the windmill," he adds.

Oklahoma is the epicenter of a region that we call "Sprite Alley," a corridor stretching across the US Great Plains where intense thunderstorms produce lots of upward directed lightning--a.k.a. "sprites."

Comment: It wasn't so long ago that these strange sights in the sky were considered a rarity, now they're being documented daily. And it's not just up above that we're paying witness to the great changes afoot, it's below too: Also check out SOTT's monthly documentary: SOTT Earth Changes Summary - April 2018: Extreme Weather, Planetary Upheaval, Meteor Fireballs


Icy clouds provide easel for brilliant sun halos over northwest Washington

Sun dogs in NW WA
© Zach Heistand
If you were up early Wednesday morning, you might have been treated to a rather brilliant show in the skies near the sun.

Photos from around the region showed a rather bright halo around the sun, with stunning sun dogs flanking either side and even a tangent arc on the top.

The halos are caused by the ice crystals in those thin, high clouds. The sunlight gets refracted by those ice crystals, making the colors of the rainbow.


Adapt 2030 Ice Age Report: Arctic atmosphere changed, noctilucent clouds and Hawaii eruption hits geothermal well

Drifting snow is piled high on CBC producer David Newell's deck in Gander
© David Newell/CBC
Drifting snow in Gander, Newfoundland
Dr Madhav Khandekar expert reviewer for the IPCC says that winters in the Norther Hemisphere are becoming significantly colder and snowier. This Noctiluscent cloud season is a no-show and scientists are baffled as to why nothing is showing over the Arctic. Kilauea eruption lava rivers have reached the Geothermal power station covering one well head and emergency services are waiting to see if the chemicals will blow out the well in an eruption fashion of its own.



Adapt 2030 Ice Age Report: Signs in the skies of the Eddy Solar Grand Minimum

antisolar arc 2018
© Pål Tengesdal
Signs are appearing our skies that the atmosphere is changing as predicted with the gran solar minimum. Rare anti-solar arcs over Norway, Cyclone over Yemen and Oman, Green flashes in UK and Norway. Hawaii has blue flames as the Earth cracks and methane ignites and CO2 didn't cause warming in 1950-1980 even though it was increasing in concentration. A look at Wheeler's drought clock, another repeating cycle as well the grand solar minimum.



Photographer captures yet another photo of 'rare' red sprites - in skies above Oklahoma

red sprite TLE Oklahoma May 2018
© Paul Smith
Courtesy of dramatic sky photography by Paul Smith on Facebook.
Back in October 2017, EarthSky.org reported that photographer Paul Smith believed he had captured some of the first images of red sprites in Oklahoma. Since then, Smith has captured two more instances of the ethereal high-altitude phenomenon: one on May 12th, 2018, and again today, on May 24th, pictured above. All images have been published on his interesting Facebook group, International Observers of Upper-Atmospheric Electric Phenomena:
Lots of TLEs from Oklahoma tonight. This one stands out as my best to date. 12.55am/6:55 UTC 5/24/2018 looking WNW from north Edmond, Oklahoma. It even has the blue/purple ends on the tendrils
'TLE' stands for Transient Luminous Event, which includes upper-atmosphere electric phenomena known as sprites, jets and ELVES. These high-altitude discharges were once considered to 'possibly occur' because pilots reported seeing them, but meteorologists discounted the idea until 1989 when the first visual documentation was made in support of the claims.

Cloud Precipitation

Adapt 2030 Ice Age Report: Earth's winds and clouds are changing

Up to half a meter of hail was reported in the Mosel region

Up to half a meter of hail was reported in the Mosel region
Earth's winds and cloud patterns are now starting to show definite signs of incredible changes versus what was considered the normal just two years ago. Now every colliding weather front of a record rain downpour, a record hail depth event and a record wind or electrical event. There has been a noticeable change which is affecting crop yields and climate mix-ups are beginning to take a toll. These are a few explanations of how cosmic rays effect our Earth's climate systems with dozens of examples of extremes we are seeing right now. Do you really think a foot of hail in Paris is normal?


Cloud Grey

Gigantic and unique 'divergent eddy' appears in the sky above Antwerp, Belgium

divergent eddy
© Facebook Weerstation Zoersel & omstreken
In the north of the Belgian province of Antwerp, clouds turned into one great swirl on the evening of Tuesday May 22nd. Many residents of the municipality Schilde and its surrounding area were amazed on seeing the bizarre weather phenomenon in the sky.

It was Facebook page Weerstation Zoersel & omstreken that received pictures of the phenomenon and published them online. Excited about the sight in the sky, Belgian weather caster Jill Peeters tweeted: "I'm going for a walk - without a phone - and I keep seeing a motionless, gigantic swirl in the clouds. Thankfully, you all, such as in Zoersel and Antwerp, are taking pictures of it."