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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1998 > Jul > Jul 29

Re: Scientists Complete Study Of Strange Lights

From: Stig Agermose <wanderer@post8.tele.dk>
Date: Wed, 29 Jul 1998 05:38:30 +0200
Fwd Date: Wed, 29 Jul 1998 00:23:15 -0400
Subject: Re: Scientists Complete Study Of Strange Lights

Further thought-provoking information on these UFOs
(Unidentified Flashing Objects) was to be seen in The Observer
(UK) December 16 1996. URL:




Scientists track heavenly flasher

Tim Radford, Science Editor

AMERICAN scientists have obtained images of a UFO on the edge of
space - an Unidentified Flashing Object. A team from Stanford
university told the American Geophysical Union meeting in San
Francisco yesterday that it has begun to track down a mysterious
force that has baffled high-flying pilots for two decades.

The "UFO" was a celestial light of a class called "elves" -
luminous rings 55 or 60 miles high that grow to 160 miles across
in under a thousandth of a second.

Other heavenly flashers include "blue jets", streamers of light
that stretch as far as 30 miles above the clouds, and "red
sprites", diffuse blobs of light that exist for a few
thousandths of second, 25-55 miles above the clouds. For a
while, cosmic rays were blamed. Now all of them are thought to
be a kind of afterglow from lightning.

They have been described as as momentary glows in the upper sky.
Some of the ghostly phenomena last for such a short time that
nobody is sure they can actually be seen with the naked eye at
all, others occur at subliminal speeds. There have been so many
explanations for them that one researcher began talking of a
theory of the week club. Most of the evidence comes from going
back over videotapes made by stratosphere investigators and
shuttle astronauts. Until airliners and military pilots began
flying regularly at stratospheric heights, they were not seen at
all, and they were unexpected: lightning should go from clouds
to ground, rather than clouds to space.

A team led by Professor Umran Inan, an electrical engineer at
Stanford, built a camera called a Fly's Eye to capture the
fleeting flashes of elves. The instrument has a dozen 18 inch
barrels, each pointing to a different part of the sky. It can
"fix" time to 30 millionths of a second, so it can map what
happens to elves in their brief lifetimes.

"Certain events in the upper reaches of the atmosphere, like
solar storms, can affect the lower atmosphere, resulting in
significant consequences like power blackouts," said Professor
Inan yesterday. "Now we are learning that certain events in the
lower atmosphere can affect the upper atmosphere. Because about
1,000 lightning strokes occur each minute around the world, it
is not unlikely these effects may have a global
impact on the atmosphere."

Monday, December 16, 1996