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View Full Version : A Strange Spiral? (Old news since late of 2009) But still wondering



Gamefreak89
2010-Oct-16, 07:41 AM
Hey I'm just wondering what is this exactly?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hrWjkn_DHs&feature=channel

Because this sort of scared me out of my wits, also I just want a simple answer if anyone knows what it is.

HenrikOlsen
2010-Oct-16, 09:06 AM
It's a rotating rocket venting gasses out of it's side as it's flying.
It's happening quite high, so there's no ambient air to stop the gas moving which is why the spiral is so nice and why it looks like a hole opening in the middle when the venting stops and the gas just keeps moving outwards, and it's still in sunlight which is why it's so bright.

We have multiple threads here going into much more detail.

It's happened a couple of times and in all cases the specific rocket launched has been identified. I can't out of hand remember which of them the one you posted links to was.

Gamefreak89
2010-Oct-17, 12:34 AM
It was a spiral that appeared over all of Norway, and there has also been reports of them over China, Australia, and UK.

slang
2010-Oct-17, 01:06 AM
Q&A: strange things happening in the sky (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/97857-strange-things-happening-in-the-sky)
CT: Norwegian spiral not Russian missile (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/98136-Norwegian-spiral-not-Russian-missile)
CT: Spiral Over Australia - Another Rocket? (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/104640-Spiral-Over-Australia-Another-Rocket)

HTH

Van Rijn
2010-Oct-17, 01:29 AM
I suspect you're going to see more things like this reported with images, not because it is new, but because there are far more people with cameras (on their phone, usually) than there used be.

HenrikOlsen
2010-Oct-17, 07:53 AM
It was a spiral that appeared over all of Norway, and there has also been reports of them over China, Australia, and UK.
As I mentioned, it was really high, so was visible over a large area.

As for China and Australia, the Norwegian report is not the only rocket it happened to.

Jens
2010-Oct-17, 07:57 AM
Because this sort of scared me out of my wits, also I just want a simple answer if anyone knows what it is.

I think pretty good explanations have been given, but I just wanted to add a hypothetical question. Suppose there really were spirals. Why would it scare you out of your wits? I think it's pretty clear that ancient people didn't understand the cause of lightning, but there you had it, and it might have scared them, but eventually we came to understand it. There are things we don't understand, and I don't think that's necessarily cause for alarm.

HenrikOlsen
2010-Oct-17, 08:09 AM
I think pretty good explanations have been given, but I just wanted to add a hypothetical question. Suppose there really were spirals. Why would it scare you out of your wits? I think it's pretty clear that ancient people didn't understand the cause of lightning, but there you had it, and it might have scared them, but eventually we came to understand it. There are things we don't understand, and I don't think that's necessarily cause for alarm.
Lightning might be a bad example though, as it can be quite destructive even when you do know what it is. :)
http://xkcd.com/795/

Gamefreak89
2010-Oct-17, 02:20 PM
LOL kind of reminds me of a primordial Black Hole lol if it even exists, but yeah what's up with that doesn't happen all the time when the country's military launches failed rockets?
Also Jens when you say strange phenomenon like lightning since the ancient times when our ancestors couldn't explain it but we got used to it. What if and that is "If" these spirals weren't man made but an astronomical phenomenon? What then would cause them to appear?

grant hutchison
2010-Oct-17, 03:20 PM
What if and that is "If" these spirals weren't man made but an astronomical phenomenon? What then would cause them to appear?So you're asking: If they aren't what they're actually known to be, what would they be?
That would have to be something very similar to what they're known to be.

Grant Hutchison

HenrikOlsen
2010-Oct-17, 10:54 PM
LOL kind of reminds me of a primordial Black Hole lol if it even exists, but yeah what's up with that doesn't happen all the time when the country's military launches failed rockets?
It needs a rotating rocket, which vents out the side as it rotates, while being above most of the atmosphere (to make the nice spiral, otherwise the vented gas won't keep moving in the direction it was vented), in sunlight, while the sun's down for the observers, with weather which allows a clear view and with observers who have cameras ready to record it.

It's not really surprising it happens very seldom. Which is a pity as it's a very pretty demonstration of how gasses act in a vacuum.

Gamefreak89
2010-Oct-17, 11:41 PM
Yeah I know it was a very pretty light show lol, Hmmmm... I wonder if the USA has ever done something like this before? You know with the whole spiral thing in the sky.

Elukka
2010-Oct-18, 12:07 AM
The Falcon 9 made a spiral over Australia, so yeah.
After following the live launch stream and seeing the rocket in question spinning through a camera mounted on it it was quite amusing to see people go "OH MY GOD IT'S AN INTERGALACTIC PORTAL".

transreality
2010-Oct-18, 01:23 AM
One strange thing.. how come there were no spirals over europe during the cold war there must of been tons of experimental rocket launch failures as the sides were building up their strategic arsenals? Maybe more care was taken to hide accidents.

HenrikOlsen
2010-Oct-18, 01:52 AM
One strange thing.. how come there were no spirals over europe during the cold war there must of been tons of experimental rocket launch failures as the sides were building up their strategic arsenals? Maybe more care was taken to hide accidents.
Far fewer launches outside the atmosphere with liquid fuel engines.

Jens
2010-Oct-18, 02:56 AM
What if and that is "If" these spirals weren't man made but an astronomical phenomenon? What then would cause them to appear?

Well, they are known to be rockets, so why even ask that question? You give me an impossible task. It's like saying, "If the white liquid coming from cows' udders wasn't milk, what would it be?"

Van Rijn
2010-Oct-18, 03:34 AM
One strange thing.. how come there were no spirals over europe during the cold war there must of been tons of experimental rocket launch failures as the sides were building up their strategic arsenals? Maybe more care was taken to hide accidents.

How do you know there weren't any? AGN Fuel, in this thread (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/104640-Spiral-Over-Australia-Another-Rocket?p=1742531#post1742531), mentioned he saw gas clouds (though not necessarily spirals) probably from rockets five or six times over the years. It's possible that if you did research in older local newspapers from many areas, you might find more references to things like this.

Gamefreak89
2010-Oct-19, 05:35 AM
Well I think its good to ask "What If" questions it helps bring out more scientific knowledge for me to learn :D and also isn't it part of human nature to ask such questions as these?

Jens
2010-Oct-19, 06:08 AM
Well I think its good to ask "What If" questions it helps bring out more scientific knowledge for me to learn :D and also isn't it part of human nature to ask such questions as these?

I don't think anybody has criticized you for asking questions. Ask away, by all means.

Gamefreak89
2010-Oct-20, 05:27 AM
As a science loving person such as myself I would love to ask a question such as "What if something so simple that was just sitting right in front of us could enable us to reach interstellar speeds, would you keep such a thing to yourself or would you let other scientists from around the world took a whack at it?".

Jens
2010-Oct-20, 05:51 AM
As a science loving person such as myself I would love to ask a question such as "What if something so simple that was just sitting right in front of us could enable us to reach interstellar speeds, would you keep such a thing to yourself or would you let other scientists from around the world took a whack at it?".

Honestly, I can't imagine that anybody who had such a realization would keep it to themselves. Maybe patent it first, but keeping such a discovery to oneself seems pretty unthinkable to me.

slang
2010-Oct-20, 11:48 PM
As a science loving person such as myself I would love to ask a question such as "What if something so simple that was just sitting right in front of us could enable us to reach interstellar speeds, would you keep such a thing to yourself or would you let other scientists from around the world took a whack at it?".

Perhaps the first to discover it might keep it to themselves. And maybe the second. Who knows, even the third might. But, if it's "so simple that was just sitting right in front of us", it's bound to be discovered again and again, and soon enough someone craving a Nobel prize will discover it.

But, in the case of the Norway spiral, there really isn't much mystery. Sure, that one picture that went all over the world truly is beautiful and captivating, appealing to the imagination, but if you see the video taken of the same event, it's much easier to see that it is just a rotating piece of rocketry. Remember the photograph must have had a fairly long exposure, so you actually see the phenomenon over several seconds in one picture. To the naked eye it would be quite different, less spectacular.