View Full Version : Weird Giant Spiral Seen in Sky over Norway

2009-Dec-09, 05:00 PM
Apparently, this is not a Photoshopped image, as there are several more just like it, taken from various locations. This morning in northern Norway, people saw a strange light in the sky, which shocked residents, and so far, the phenomenon has yet to be explained. This pictures was taken from a pier, looking [...]

More... (http://www.universetoday.com/2009/12/09/weird-giant-spiral-seen-in-sky-over-norway/)

2009-Dec-09, 05:34 PM
To me at least, it looks like a rocket stage that's spewing unspent fuel whilst spinning.

I was talking about it with a friend while at work today - the two sets of spirals, one seemingly on the path of the object, and one radiating from it could simply be two different vents from a spent upper-stage. You have to be somewhat close to the ground-track of the object to get a spiral view rather than a cone or corkscrew - but I tried to replicate it in 3D using simple particle systems and I think it demonstrated the principles quite well. The final part that seemed clinching to me was the sudden 'black circle' that forms in the middle. I just turned off the particle system and bingo - I got the same black circle forming.

It's not a perfect replication of the images, but I think it demonstrates a way in which that phenomenon could have been formed.


2009-Dec-09, 07:29 PM
I'd be interested in seeing how your scene is set up from a different perspective. Are your emitters in motion along the trajectory of the "green" spiral, or are they positionally stationary and just rotating?

2009-Dec-09, 08:14 PM
I'm making 2.0 now :)

2009-Dec-09, 09:49 PM
Updated version : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zx8i5EfmYU4

Almost certainly related to this launch earlier today - http://spaceflightnow.com/news/n0912/09longmarch/

2009-Dec-09, 09:54 PM
The chinese sure know how to make pretty fireworks. Too bad this one wasn't ready for the Beijing Olympics!

2009-Dec-09, 09:59 PM
Also being discussed in Q&A (http://www.bautforum.com/space-astronomy-questions-answers/97857-strange-things-happening-sky.html).

2009-Dec-09, 10:00 PM
Updated version : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zx8i5EfmYU4

Almost certainly related to this launch earlier today - http://spaceflightnow.com/news/n0912/09longmarch/

Thanks. :) That's what I figured; the result is really a cone inside a cone, though it doesn't look like it due to distance and perspective.

Well, so far that seems most likely. It also makes me almost miss my 3DStudio days. On the first day of class, when they were introducing people to the UI, I was in the corner animating particle fireworks with post-processing glow effects. :lol:

2009-Dec-09, 11:11 PM
Wait, none of that is Photoshop?

2009-Dec-10, 08:04 AM
A failed rocket seems most likely...but I just cant see it spiraling that perfectly, you'd think it would be all over the place. I'm hoping someone comes forward on this.

2009-Dec-10, 09:07 AM
While I agree that a rocket seems the most likely explanation (with a distinct possibility that it was amateur or a firework), is the colour not also that of hydroxyl recombination form an ice meteor?

If so, perhaps we are seeing the final breakup of one that was spinning as it came in.

I've not seen one myself, but the hydroxyl ions are supposed to give out a blue glow as they come out of suspension in the ice.

2009-Dec-10, 12:23 PM
Perfect patterns are exactly what a failed rocket leaking something would produce. Have a tank - put a leak on it - and it'll start to tumble, and that leak will spiral out. Now view it on a path roughly in line with the flight path - bingo - giant spiral in the sky.

There was a rocket launch in the right place, at the right time. They have reported that the third stage failed. A failed upper stage could - as my anim I hope demonstrates - produce such a pattern quite easily.

2009-Dec-10, 01:53 PM
I had not seen this image (http://gfx.nrk.no/YOYD2X1CgNBSeaPse9LjVwT6ymkkphv7Q7x0aibAWJwg.jpg) yet, from a Norwegian website, linked to in the UT story. Seeing this part of the launch trail gives a lot more clues as to what this phenomenon was. But as usual, only the "interesting" picture makes the rounds in most media, devoid of context.

Btw, djellison, nice to see your video linked to in lots of places!

Star kid Galaxia
2009-Dec-11, 02:23 AM
The Russians have annoced there were no missle shots that day, that was said in the news today. I hear alot of conspiricies conecting this with project blue beam. I dont know, Im pretty sceptic about this. If it is not russian missle test, what else could this be?

2009-Dec-11, 03:38 AM
The Russians have annoced there were no missle shots that day [...]

Are you skeptical of that?

Norway spiral video: Mystery solved (http://features.csmonitor.com/globalnews/2009/12/10/norway-spiral-video-mystery-solved/)

[...] In a statement, the Russian Defense Ministry said it fired a Bulava from a submarine in the White Sea near the Norwegian coast Wednesday morning. The intercontinental ballistic missile’s first two stages worked perfectly, the ministry said, though the third stage engine proved “unstable.”

2009-Dec-11, 04:57 AM
I thought it was now reported that it had been confirmed as a Russian missile? Third stage failure, IIRC.

Star kid Galaxia
2009-Dec-11, 06:08 PM
I live hear in Iceland, I have friends and family in Norway. People that know people that saw this. Some say that the blue spiral came out of the spiral in the sky, not the other way around. so missle shot wouldnt make sense then. The news station changes the story twice a day, some say it was confirmed it was not a missle shot, some say yes. missle shot makes logical sense. But wouldnt it be much more fun if it was a worm hole? or a multi dimenstional vortex? why ruin all the fun :) im skeptic in that sense i just question everthing. but hope for the best, the aliens have landed!

Star kid Galaxia
2009-Dec-11, 06:27 PM
Oh now I see in my first comment what I was skeptical about, the project blue beam connection. its a conspiracy theory. anything is possible, I just dont think its a good idea to obsess over theories, that just closes doors to new ideas.

2009-Dec-11, 10:37 PM
The Russians have really had troubles with their SLBMs. There were the two Volnas the Planetary Society used, the Early Bulava failures, now this>

Some links on the Bulava:

http://english.pravda.ru/news/science/tech/11-12-2009/111083-russia_missile_bulava-0 http://www.wave3.com/Global/story.asp?S=11654025