Aliens are Hypnotizing Norway!

On Edit: I have posted an UPDATE to this topic.

Final Note: The failed launch has finally been confirmed as a Russian Bulava missile test.

Ever wonder what a failed launch looks like? Check this out. (Note that there is a video of the event at that site.)

Launch failures come in many flavors, from huge explosions to a simple failure to reach orbit (i.e. “crash”). At this point no nation is laying claim to this one, and experts are speculating about possible new atmospheric phenomena, etc. But to me, this looks like a launch gone bad, with the root cause occurring right at launch. Check out this picture:

See the squiggly blue line leading up to the spiral? “Experts” are speculating that it is leaked fuel from a rocket of some sort. I suspect it’s simply the emission from whatever thrust mechanism was used, and that a stabilization problem on the launch vehicle caused the rocket to spiral up rather than launch straight up. I have seen this effect before, and once the instability gets large enough to be obviously visible, it’s nearly impossible for the launch vehicle to self-correct.

This instability probably produced a significant torque on the entire system, finally rupturing something on the vehicle – essentially ending the upward thrust. It’s at that point that the real show starts. The instability that shows up in the blue corkscrew imparted a rotation to the system. This rotation, plus what appears to be venting from the rupture, is what produced this extraordinary spiral in the sky.

When you watch a launch you notice that as the rocket gets to higher and higher altitudes, the plume from the engine spreads wider and wider. This is due to a reduction in the density of the atmosphere. Lower density equals less air pressure equals wider plume. From the amount of spread seen in the vented material, the spiral appears to have occurred at a reasonably high altitude. Evidence for this is increased by the fact that photographs of the event from different locations (see here, here and here) show similar structure. If it was low, the viewing angles would be very different. But while you can see some differences in the spiral pattern, the same basic structure is visible.

It will be interesting to see who finally admits to having performed this launch. Alternately, I could be completely off base and it really is evidence of aliens trying to hypnotize Norway. But I wouldn’t bet on it…

Hat-tip to Spaceweather for the heads-up.


3 Responses to “Aliens are Hypnotizing Norway!”

  1. […] but never in a stationary manner.  My favorite astrophysicist has weighed in with a post on her blog, but I want to know how it can sit and rotate in one […]

  2. […] This post was Twitted by whirledsol […]

  3. strange creatures…

    […]Aliens are Hypnotizing Norway! « Blastrophysics![…]…

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