Strange streak discussion: 2004 Dec 7 APOD

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
JFRAMO

Dark Streak

Post by JFRAMO » Tue Dec 07, 2004 9:37 am

My first impression was a desending beam. I would judge this to be an accidental discharge/directing of some type of man made focused energy pulse creating an ionized trail.

David Batchelor

Last post today

Post by David Batchelor » Tue Dec 07, 2004 9:39 am

The more I look at the other posts that came in while I was writing, the more I like the bug idea.

ukuleledre

dark streak

Post by ukuleledre » Tue Dec 07, 2004 9:45 am

i was about to say the same thing. the bright pattern definitely looks like the bugs in the "flying rod" picture, and the streak in the "diff" picture looks like it has a faint undulation. very buggy.

Martin N

Post by Martin N » Tue Dec 07, 2004 9:50 am

Interesting - my initial thoughts were that there was a discharge from the pole/mast & it was a shadow being projected.
However if that was the case then then smoke would expand evenly ( even accounting for the slight wind as displayed by the tree movement , which is in fact moving in the opposite direction to the smoke !) .

However with such a short exposure , to catch the flash AND the extremely uneven smoke distribution from it in 1/20 of a second, I am now of the opinion that what struck the pole/mast came downwards at great velocity.

As to the shadow, it must therefore be the trajectory of whatever hit the pole/mast. As to what it is - well it would appear not to be a kinetic weapon - with such velocity large portions of water/boat/bridge would disintegrate, which leaves some form of energy discharge.

More information from the photographer would be nice i.e. explosions? splashes? image of exactly what it hit as there seems to be some ambiguity on what the pole/mast is.

cheers
Martin

On a lighter side
if you are American - it's the government & a secret conspiracy zappo modified alien stealth weapon from area 51 :twisted: muhahaha we are watching you :twisted:
b. if you aren't - it's a completely natural phenomenan :lol:

Doug Scott

AUSTRALIAN STREAK

Post by Doug Scott » Tue Dec 07, 2004 9:50 am

lOOKS LIKE A CONTRAIL SHADOW TO ME.

KB9ZBH

Strange Streak in the sky

Post by KB9ZBH » Tue Dec 07, 2004 9:59 am

After reviewing the before and after pictures, i will venture to guess that what one sees is the reflection of a light source on the camera's lens. :P That is my guess anywho!!!!!

rokuez

hypothetically could a laser ne1 knows about produce that re

Post by rokuez » Tue Dec 07, 2004 10:00 am

hypothetically could a laser ne1 knows about produce that result not necessarily from above the atmosphere but from an aeroplane? or maybe not even a laser maybe a quickly moving projectile dropped from a plain or maybe from a satelite?

Gurth

pic

Post by Gurth » Tue Dec 07, 2004 10:04 am

I can't quite tell you what it is, but I can tell you what it isn't. Playing with the pic in photoshop, using contast and the "curve" (highlight, midtones, and shadows) I can tell that the diagonal mark goes past the clouds to the very edge of the image, it's faint, but I'm 95% sure it has nothing to do with the clouds.

DC

Post by DC » Tue Dec 07, 2004 10:07 am

If a light source is placed several feet above the water in the area we are looking at, what kind of reflection would it create in the water? I seem to recall that if I am looking at a light on the other side of a small lake, it creates a straight line reflection in the water. Would a properly placed light source create a circular reflection?

I think the reflection pattern is much too precise to be created by something like a bug.

I think the slight V pattern may be a result of JPG compression, but I'm not quite sure.

OriEri
Ensign
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2004 9:52 am

Coincidental Association

Post by OriEri » Tue Dec 07, 2004 10:15 am

It has been pointed out already (first by DemEnTEd_42) that when extended the streak does not quite intersect the flash. I did one up on him and actually fit a line to the streak(*) and extended it through the picture. It misses the center of the flare by a good 9 pixels. As such, any apparent relationship is likely coincidental. We can rule out that the streak represents the path of something that resulted in the flare.

Some have described the streak as best fit by an arc. I don't see that, though the cloud structure might create that illusion. A quick "Chi-by-Eye" suggests that regardless of whether arc or line, the streak does not quite intersect the flare.

As others have pointed out, I think the flare is reflected sunlight since the colors match so well.

It is also of note that the streak terminates roughly at the cloud boundaries, suggestive of a shadowing of the clouds, though this is a problematic speculation.

(*) Naming the upper left pixel as 0,0 with x increasing to the right and y increasing downwards, the line described by my rough two point fit has the form y=106/205x+278 (Note that the slope is positive since the direction of the y axis is flipped relative to the traditional "up is positive" orientation in math classes. Perhaps appropriate in Australia! :o)
Last edited by OriEri on Tue Dec 07, 2004 10:25 am, edited 2 times in total.

Douglas

not the to edge

Post by Douglas » Tue Dec 07, 2004 10:18 am

Gurth: Please look at my diff. The streak does not go to the edge afaics.

--
Douglas <douglas at isja.org>

aD

Post by aD » Tue Dec 07, 2004 10:21 am

When zoomed into the lamppost a bit, it seems clear that the right-hand "wing" of the post is where the flash is more prominent, assuming that there's a bulb in each wing maybe the bulb of the right wing blew at the time of exposure? Maybe in turn this caused some sort of lens flare effect.

Need to try and pop another lamppost in a controlled manner ;-)

guest

Re: Is it a bird? Is it a plane? I think it's a plane...

Post by guest » Tue Dec 07, 2004 10:25 am

Anonymous wrote:
fireking wrote:I've seen shadow lines very similar to the one in the picture.
This gives me an idea.

The light, when inspected, was not working. This time of the evening (just after 6PM) is when automatic lights often come on - we can apparently see other lights on in the picture.

When lights burn out at startup, they often flash, briefly and brightly. I can't make out the design of the light, but, is it possible that the photographer captured a light bulb burning out -- and the line is the shadow of the light housing? Depending on the design of the housing, a burnout flash could illuminate everything around it, except for the column of air/mist shadowed by the housing.

smith @ canada.com
Here's another, close ALTERNATIVE EXPLANATION

The camera has caught the flash of the light bulb burning out. Zooming on the flash shows the bright half-ring around it is perfectly circular. This suggests it’s an image artefact from internal reflections near (or in) the focal plane. The little bight diagonal streaks on the flash ring reinforce this idea that they are internal reflections.

As for the long, dim straight streak, it could also be an image artefact. Without knowing the details of the digital camera focal plane array, it *could* be an artefact of the image read-out electronics or CCD after the bright overload spot of the bulb flash.

guest

Re: Is it a bird? Is it a plane? I think it's a plane...

Post by guest » Tue Dec 07, 2004 10:26 am

Anonymous wrote:
fireking wrote:I've seen shadow lines very similar to the one in the picture.
This gives me an idea.

The light, when inspected, was not working. This time of the evening (just after 6PM) is when automatic lights often come on - we can apparently see other lights on in the picture.

When lights burn out at startup, they often flash, briefly and brightly. I can't make out the design of the light, but, is it possible that the photographer captured a light bulb burning out -- and the line is the shadow of the light housing? Depending on the design of the housing, a burnout flash could illuminate everything around it, except for the column of air/mist shadowed by the housing.

smith @ canada.com
Here's another, close ALTERNATIVE EXPLANATION

The camera has caught the flash of the light bulb burning out. Zooming on the flash shows the bright half-ring around it is perfectly circular. This suggests it’s an image artefact from internal reflections near (or in) the focal plane. The little bight diagonal streaks on the flash ring reinforce this idea that they are internal reflections.

As for the long, dim straight streak, it could also be an image artefact. Without knowing the details of the digital camera focal plane array, it *could* be an artefact of the image read-out electronics or CCD after the bright overload spot of the bulb flash.

ukuleledre

dark streak

Post by ukuleledre » Tue Dec 07, 2004 10:31 am

it's not a damn lamppost! it's a sailboat mast! aargh!

also, i agree that many posters are not reviewing previous conversation and are repeating old ideas.

but i've overspoken already...

David Kane

Why it is not a contrail

Post by David Kane » Tue Dec 07, 2004 10:32 am

Hi

Yes, my first impression was that this is a shadow cast by a contrail. Contrail shadows (I think we call them 'vapour trails' on this side of the Atlantic) can only be seen edge-on and they look exactly like this.

However, this must be another effect because the pattern of light and shadow on the clouds suggest that the sun is shining from an angle incompatible with the contrail shadow being cast in this way. The 'flash' could reasonably be explained away as co-incidence were it not for this problem with the shadows.

All the best,

David

davidfkane@eircom.net

Gurth

Post by Gurth » Tue Dec 07, 2004 10:34 am

Doug, you are correct, my apologies, my method was not scrutinizing enough. Hmm, back to the drawing board.

Guest

Post by Guest » Tue Dec 07, 2004 10:35 am

Hey Douglas, is there any chance you can do another "diff" image, this time including the water directly below the "flash"? Someone mentioned a circular flash shape in the reflection of the water, and when I flip between the before, strange, and after images, I noticed it too. Maybe a diff image can bring it out?

HawaiiArmo

Strange Flash and smoky white cloud

Post by HawaiiArmo » Tue Dec 07, 2004 10:36 am

In order for there to be a lightening strike, chances are, the other metal poles that were taller would have been struck first. Secondly, although the atmosphere does seem rife for lightening, it's not necessarily a hint. It seems to have gone unnoticed that there's a strange smoky cloud around the lightpole where we can see the flash. I believe it's an electrical discharge, thus rendering the lamp inoperable. The black "contrail" is probably just an artifact, perhaps due to the atmospheric conditions and the photographers position. Since ball lightening is not well understood, and the damage can go unnoticed at times, it's also possible that this was responsible for the phenomenon. I still believe the contrail as an artifact.

Jertoons

Streak ? What streak ?

Post by Jertoons » Tue Dec 07, 2004 10:39 am

Sorry, I don't even see a streak.

What is the location on the photo of the "streak".

I've seen a number of streakers in my time, now that's a good shot if you can get it.

Just kidding.

:lol:

jonaesir

Post by jonaesir » Tue Dec 07, 2004 10:42 am

The hazy light image extending from 'shore-to-shore' appears to be in direct alignment with the position of the sun behind the clouds. The camera could be catching the 'pinpoint' of sunlight coming through the clouds and casting a concentration of light between the water and the camera. The shadow is the top of the light standard with the shadow extending upward to left of the camera because the shadow appears to get larger the further it is from the light fixture.

David R Allen

APOD

Post by David R Allen » Tue Dec 07, 2004 10:47 am

Nature abhors a straight line. Natural phenomena such as lightning, even pre lightning ionization trails do not move in straight lines. Suggest the light pole globe blew out, and the line is an effect due to the photography.

Straight lines suggest high speed movement.

Maybe someone shot the bulb with a high power rifle from higher ground. Trails can be seen from rifle shots as they force condensation out of humid air, in the same way that an aeroplane wing can create vortex trails in humid air along the wing tips.

David R Allen

DC

Post by DC » Tue Dec 07, 2004 10:50 am

Image

I think the color of what I am calling the reflection is slightly different from the sunlight.

jon418

a bee maybe?

Post by jon418 » Tue Dec 07, 2004 10:53 am

Another poster said it was probably the flight of an insect across the frame and I agree. If you look close at the flash at the end of the streak, it could be a bee. The bright flash is a reflection off its back or abdomen, and the lighter portion that looks like a shockwave is the rest of its body including extended wings. The dark streak was caused by its flight across the frame during the slow exposure. It was then breifly illuminated by the flash. There is a common carpenter bee in Australia that is black with a metallic iridescence which could be the culprit.

Peter

Streak

Post by Peter » Tue Dec 07, 2004 10:55 am

Several points obvious if you save the large view and enhance it a bit -

- there is no perspective effct on the streak. So either "whatever it was" was moving exactly perpendicular to the camera's axis, or it's a flaw in the film.

- the streak actually passes slightly above the light housing

- the smoke plume originates a little to the left of the base of the light pole, not the light

My guess is that the streak is a flaw in the film, and that (as already suggested) the photo has caught the moment when the light bulb failed. The apparent plume could come from anything - a burst from a poorly-tuned motor car or boat ... or maybe a shot from a top-secret laser weapon that missed, a UFO landing, or ...