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The lights are reported to appear while an earthquake is occurring, although there are reports of lights before or after earthquakes, such as reports concerning the 1975 Kalapana earthquake. They are reported to have shapes similar to those of the auroras, with a white to bluish hue, but occasionally they have been reported having a wider color spectrum. The luminosity is reported to be visible for several seconds, but has also been reported to last for tens of minutes. Accounts of viewable distance from the epicenter varies: in the 1930 Idu earthquake, lights were reported up to 70 miles (110 km) from the epicenter. Earthquake lights were reportedly spotted in Tianshui, Gansu, approximately 400 kilometres (250 mi) north-northeast of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake's epicenter. During the 2007 Peru earthquake lights were seen in the skies above the sea and filmed by many people. The phenomenon was also observed and caught on film during the 2009 L'Aquila and the 2010 Chile earthquakes. Video footage has also recorded this happening during the 9 April 2011 eruption of Sakurajima Volcano, Japan. The phenomenon was also reported around the Amuri Earthquake in New Zealand, that occurred 1 September 1888. The lights were visible in the morning of 1 September in Reefton, and again on 8 September. A more recent appearance of the phenomenon, along with video footage of the incident, happened in Sonoma County of California on August 24, 2014.
Appearances of the earthquake light seem to occur when the quakes have a high magnitude, generally 5 or higher on the Richter scale. There have also been incidents of yellow, ball-shaped lights appearing before earthquakes.
That's a lot better guess than "earthquake lights".
originally posted by: theantediluvian
a reply to: SlapMonkey
You make a good point. I haven't been able to find a wider image, but they do look like crepuscular rays only inverted so perhaps what we're actually seeing is the space between very crepuscular rays — a shadow of sorts?
Like this I found on Google images:
originally posted by: Glassbender777
Makes me wonder if the crushing and movement of minerals is releasing some kind of energy that we do not fully understand yet. some believe Quartz crystals have an ability to store energy at certain frequencies, hence the use of quartz crystals for keeping time in watches.
Yeah I have to agree...Most accounts of Earthquake Lights I've read about dont seem to match this phenomenon...Før instance this article news.nationalgeographic.com... explains that they come in many forms...Including the "ufo/ball lightening" type. It does mention some that look like " blue flames" but they seem to be close to the ground. Others just look like flashes or lightening....And I don't think any of them linger around too long, like the ones in these photos. I've seen the sky look like the photos here myself from time to time. I would hazard a guess that in this particular case it may be due to some extra dust in the atmosphere kicked up by the earthquake itself.
originally posted by: SlapMonkey
a reply to: theantediluvian
Nah, I call BS on this stuff--I see this all the time associated with distant thunderstorms that have the sun behind them. My thought is that the air is so humid (or full of mist at that altitude) that the light rays passing along the edge of the clouds is actually reflected by the moisture particles, allowing them to be visible while the moisture in the shadow of the cloud remains "invisible."
This has nothing to do with earthquakes, but rather is coincidental. Please note that all of the images you provided are associated with very thick, heavy storm clouds with the sun being behind them. It's similar to a light projector in a smoky room where part of the light is obscured.
Hopefully I'm making sense. If not...meh.
Quartz crystals have piezoelectric properties; they develop an electric potential upon the application of mechanical stress. An early use of this property of quartz crystals was in phonograph pickups. One of the most common piezoelectric uses of quartz today is as a crystal oscillator. The quartz clock is a familiar device using the mineral. The resonant frequency of a quartz crystal oscillator is changed by mechanically loading it, and this principle is used for very accurate measurements of very small mass changes in the quartz crystal microbalance and in thin-film thickness monitors.
Cobalt radiation perhaps and I too wonder if any machine makes the same radiation and what causes them and what it would mean. But scary nonetheless.
originally posted by: LadyGreenEyes
a reply to: theantediluvian
They're very pretty! I'd love to know what causes them, of course, but they are pretty, nonetheless. It seems almost bizarre that people would blame someone taking photos for such a thing. I hope the climbers didn't get into trouble!