Russian scientists say one of their satellites detected "light explosions" as they flew tens of miles above the earth. They say the mysterious phenomenon can not be explained by anything known to modern physics.
Unusual space phenomena were previously observed in the Earth's atmosphere, but a team serving the Lomonosov satellite named after the famous Russian scientist says these explosions are something completely new.
"We do not yet know its physical nature" Mikhail Panasyuk, Head of Research of the Moscow State University The Institute of Nuclear Physics informed the media.
Flashes of light like these are usually explained by weather events, but the sky under the satellite was clear, with no storms, lightning or clouds in sight. "What caused the explosions is an open question" Panasyuk said.
Earth's atmosphere can be illuminated by UV lightning and surges, but these are usually associated with storm clouds.
Lomonosov's UV Scope is used to study powerful cosmic rays, including various light phenomena, gamma rays, and magnetospheric particles in the upper Earth's atmosphere.
However, this proved to be a challenging task as the atmosphere was heavily infested " with various flashlights, such as city lights or airport beacons, to Panasyuk.
The story begins less than a year after astronomers have discovered dozens of exceptionally fast flashes of light that are unlike anything observed in space. The events resemble a supernova – the explosion of giant stars at the end of their lives – but are far more volatile and visible for only a week to a month, said Miika Pursiainen of the University of Southampton on RT.
One theory behind the finding was that a star nearing the end of its life lost enormous amounts of material before its supernova explosion. However, scientists need more data to reach a conclusion.
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