A light in the sky in northern Norway

This morning at around 7:50 local time a light was seen in the sky in large parts of northern Norway. According to Norwegian newspapers the light could be seen for around 2 minutes - far too long for it to be a meteorite, I should think.

Image with long shutter opening here. Notice the weird spin.

Cellphone camera film here.

So, night sky-knowledgable dopers: what was it? Meterorite? Aurora borealis? What?

Santa Claus out on a test run? That is very far north.

Someone with a spot light and a moving head gobo projecting onto clouds?

Looks to me like what you could easily do with either a very bright projector or a big spotlight and a spinning disc obscuring part of the light. On the camera phone I can see a faint trail of light off to the right which looks like the light beam.

On the still photo the blue stream is indicating the projection point, its a publicity stunt.

I don’t think it was projected onto a cloud. According to the newspaper link the light was seen in an area spanning from Trøndelag to Finnmark [very roughly marked here].

Also: someone at another board suggested EISCAT had something do do with it, but I don’t know what. On the EISCAT page I found this data from their VHF radar today, and it does look like something happened this morning.
(Disclaimer: I have no idea what EISCAT really does, what the data means or how to interpret it.)

The video reminded me of what I had hoped to see back in 1991. Unfortunately I didn’t see squat. I haven’t heard of any similar experiments of late but it might fit the scenario.

This is a very hasty conclusion; the kind that gives knee-jerk skeptics a bad name. Plus, your explanation of the blue stream seems a trifle far fetched too - e.g. how was the blue light illuminated? Why did it turn white when it ‘projected’ onto something?

If you translate the page and look at the area of the extent of sightings, and comments from meteorologists and ATCs, while it seems most likely to be manmade, it does look very unusual compared to most common spotlight effects.

Unfortunately that link is dead (guessing it’s dynamic content). Can you tell us how you derived it so we can too?

The link was live for me. The data shows essentially nothing other than that the EISCAT facility was transmitting for a little under three hours that night. In so far as that is what the facility does all the time, I don’t think the data shows anything unusual at all. (The image showed electron density versus altitude over time, and transmitter parameters over time. Nothing more.)

The picture of the spiral, and the phonecam videos don’t make me think that it was anything other than a manmade image. The constant shape of the spiral - even when it rotated - is consistent with a simple gobo.

Yup: www.eiscat.se -> data (tab) -> analysed data -> real-time analysed data -> Tromsø VHF.

Possible failed Russian missile launch?

Not so simple to project an image visible over a range of 1200 miles. How did they do that?

There are new videos being added to the vgtv.no link in the OP at the moment. One of them looks really like something spinning very fast and breaking up, leaving behind a vapor trail of some kind.

I don’t believe the 1200 miles bit. The image would occupy the entire sky. Either there have been multiple images in different places (maybe), reports of different phenomina reported at rougly the same time (possible), or most likely, some of the reports were fake, and part of the stunt.

1200 miles visibility is massive. That occupies a significant slab of the Earth’s sphere. The curvature of the Earth becomes an issue alone. If the image was visible across that distance it would need to be some hundreds of miles high, and hundreds of miles wide. Which puts it outside the atmophere, and for those people underneath it, it would occupy nearly all of the visible sky. The geometry just doesn’t add up.

Looks like art.

Artist’s impression. :wink:

It does if it is an event at high altitude. It doesn’t need to be large, just bright.

If it was really high up (i.e. far away), wouldn’t its rate of rotation have to be fantastically rapid (since its span would have to be correspondingly large to be seen from so far away)? Yet it rotates about once a second.

In totally unrelated and purely coincidental news:
The Large Hadron Collider achieved its goal to be most powerful physics machine in the world on Tuesday evening.
We could all run for our lives, but that would be pointless.

It was Venus?

More likely someone has burned down the Gavle Julbock again.