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Mysterious Columns of Light Baffle Scientists

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posted on Jan, 17 2009 @ 04:21 PM

Originally posted by visible_villain

daz said :
My gut feeling is we should be looking else-where for an answer.

I would like to hear your justification for this opinion, especially in light of the fact that even NASA itself, that bastion of scientific respectibility, states that other planets in our solar system are currently warming up as well.

For instance, check out to get an idea of where I'm coming from ...

I have already justified myself in my earlier post.. Do you want me to start repeating myself..

your link was broken.. I removed the extra comma from the end and came to an article about Jupiters new red spot.. Is this the article you are refering to and if it is what has that got to do with increased output from the sun?

I am aware of coarse of some articles reporting the phenomena of the solar system planets heating up.. One of the articles in question was from the Enterprise Mission site and the article was Inter-planetary Day After Tomorrow but that still does not change the fact that the sun is quiet at the moment.. Not much extra power coming off it at the moment..

you can track the current state of the sun from the following site..
It gives real time data and i watch it regularly..

i hope this is justification enough



posted on Jan, 17 2009 @ 05:01 PM
Got to laugh at the so called experts opinion from the original post! Something about ice particles reflecting the light back down! Even if that was the case the light should be distributed about evenly and not in colums as shown in the pictures! These look more like torch/lazer beams but they are supposed to be street lights, so either the picture is fake or the light is somehow being sucked straight up into the atmosphere?
Perhaps if the phenomen is real it could have something to do with the earths own magnetic field as opposed to the suns radiation? It does in a way remind me of the northern lights, but going in the opposite direction, I wonder if the light effect would appear to be pulsating in the same way the northern lights do when ofbserved in person or captured on film?
This is certainly interesting stuff if its not fake in some way! Good post

posted on Jan, 17 2009 @ 08:29 PM

Originally posted by surfer_soul
Got to laugh at the so called experts opinion from the original post! Something about ice particles reflecting the light back down! Even if that was the case the light should be distributed about evenly and not in colums as shown in the pictures!

Wow, that was a very well thought out and informed reply! Did you ever think to do some research on what you were commenting on here?

Perhaps if you did, you'd know that that ice crystals can take on near perfect geometric shapes, and under certain conditions they can orient themselves en-mass, thus making light do funny things as in the example in question!

Talk about deny ignorance... perhaps ATS should change it's motto to "Deny Arrogance"!

posted on Jan, 17 2009 @ 08:48 PM
I think both of the above posters talking about the sun's "output" are correct.

While it is true that the solar storms are at a standstill right now, that isn't the only thing that went quiet. So did the sun's magnetosphere. Which, by the way, encompasses the earth. It is a protective layer from cosmic radiation coming from all over the place.

So, while the sun's output may be low, the effects of cosmic radiation could, in fact, be ramping up.

Aside from that, those are cool pictures.

Signs from the Heavens. Watch out for the fundies to lead a charge claiming Jesus is coming back.

posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 10:22 AM
reply to post by C.H.U.D.

Yes Chud for your info I am aware of ice crystals ability to reflect and even bend light, the point I was trying to make is that those same crystals should be evenly distributed about the sky, and whatever allignment they were in, they would not cause the light to appear only in vertical columms directly above the source of light, given that the light emiting from the street lamps would normally appear as a general glow around the lamps, are the ice crystals somehow supposed to be taking away this normal effect and causing all the light to go straight up in beams? I would like to see it proven! Just sounds ilogical to me, even the experts say its just a theory! But because I'm not an expert am I supposed to think everything they say must be true, even when it sounds daft??

posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 11:28 AM
reply to post by surfer_soul

I can understand how it might seem illogical, but if you look into it a little, it makes sense.

Do you understand how prisms work? If you have a whole lot of similar shaped crystals, under the right conditions, because they are so evenly shaped, they can almost all be orientated in the same way. Light that might normally be reflected up or down, is instead reflected sideways towards the observer... obviously it will be most intense directly above the light source.

Have you ever been fishing before, and used a float? Have you noticed how the float always orients itself the correct way up? It's very similar to the way ice crystals can behave in air, given the right conditions.

Here is a page which illustrates, and explains how similar shaped ice crystals can cause these type of phenomena:

There's nothing wrong with questioning the understood wisdom, but IMHO if you're going to do that, at least do your homework, and don't outright dismiss something because you can not get your head around it.

The experts who study these things would never make assumptions like you just did. They actually spent allot of time studying the subject, trying understand the processes involved, and no offense intended, but I think it's safe to say that they are more qualified to explain what might be going on than you.

By all means, do some digging, and then come here and tell us how you think this is possible, and where you think the experts might be going wrong. If you can understand what you are talking about, people will see that (in theory anyway... I sometimes wonder myself!), and your ideas will be taken more seriously.

In the spirit of ATS - Deny Ignorance!


As for the odd arcs above the pillars that are baffling the experts... my theory is that there was a layer of air that was more turbulent than the air below, and the crystals floating in this particular layer are not all orientated in the same direction as much as those in the air below. The result is what we see; the light becomes more scattered, making the column appear to widen with height. The alternative is a layer of air with differently shaped crystals to the layer below, or less likely, a new previously unseen shape of ice crystal.

posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 01:46 PM
Of course it is gratifying to me personally that this thread has evolved into a quite lively discussion of current 'environmental' events here on our amazing planet.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to read and comment on this thread.

I would also like to thank everybody for keeping the incidence of the dreaded 'ad-hominem attack' to a bare minimum here as well.

I found the 'ice crystal' theory pretty interesting, and one which I had not heard of before. But again, after running this theory through a few simple scenarios in the form of 'thought experiments,' it just seems to be another explanation based on 'hand waving' about at the same level as the 'swamp gas' explanations refered to in one of my earlier comments here.

Finally, as to 'current solar emissions data' available on US govt. operated NASA sites, and indeed, similar data available on the many, many dozens of Solar Observation Sites now being maintained by scores of research groups worldwide ( ever wonder why so many of these groups are currently operating and publishing ? ... ahem ... ), the same cautionary statement should apply : don't believe everything you read ...

The 'raw data' is never available on these sites. It has always been 'pre-processed' ( read : 'well cooked' ) for 'public consumption' ...

Unless you've got your own, independently operated ( and, significantly, 'independently funded' ) solar observatory, please don't take too much stock in their so-called 'real-time data' ...

Thanks, once again, to everybody for participating in the spirit of 'new discovery.' Best, VV

posted on Jan, 29 2009 @ 11:50 AM
Sorry - posted on the wrong thread

[edit on 29-1-2009 by C.H.U.D.]

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