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Mysterious blue ball hundreds of kilometers wide in the sky of Alaska

AmericaThe bright blue ball appeared in the sky of Alaska at the end of March, moving from northeast to southwest for more than 4 minutes.

Mysterious blue ball hundreds of kilometers wide in the sky of Alaska

The ball of light flies through the sky in the fast-forward video. Video: The Aurora Chasers/Ronn Murray/Marketa Murray

Scientists have solved the mystery of the blue ball of light that flew through the Alaskan sky last month, suggesting that it is highly likely that this is a fragment of a Chinese rocket, Live Science reported on April 8.

Alaskans encountered a strange phenomenon at about 5 a.m. on March 29 (local time). “It looked like something was spinning inside of it,” said Leslie Smallwood, a resident of Fairbanks, Alaska. The sphere is much larger than the full moon and moves from northeast to southwest, Smallwood added.

The automatic camera trap of husband and wife Ronn Murray and Marketa Murray at The Aurora Chasers organization, which specializes in aurora photography tours, recording images of the ball flying in front of the aurora borealis. The camera regularly takes pictures of the sky every 45 seconds so that everyone can experience the aurora borealis in near real time.

The camera took six pictures of the sphere, showing it to be present for at least four and a half minutes. “It doesn’t seem to be racing through the sky, but rather leisurely,” Smallwood observed.

Orbs appear and disappear without a precise explanation. However, after analyzing the photos, scientists determined that this is most likely a fragment of a Chinese missile.

“I believe what people see is a Chinese rocket stage discharging fuel,” said Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. The sphere’s flight path matched that of a Chinese rocket that launched two satellites into orbit that day. This is a two-stage Long March 6 rocket, launched from Taiwan.

The rocket may have released leftover fuel into the air, where the fuel froze and then dispersed into a large ball and was illuminated by the sun. “This cloud can be hundreds of kilometers wide. That’s why it looks so big,” McDowell said.

Other scientists also agree with McDowell’s interpretation. “A cloud of gas glowing with sunlight would look like that,” said Mark Conde, a physicist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The sphere appears to be spinning because as the rockets discharge fuel, they begin a controlled somersault to maintain the rocket’s trajectory.

This is not the first time this has happened. In October 2017, an even larger blue sphere appeared in the sky of Siberia. This frozen fuel block is left by Russian military missile tests.

Thu Thao (According to Space)

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