Considering lava cools and darkens almost immediately under water, I'd imagine it would have to be an incredibly epic underwater eruption (and thus, detectible) for that much light to make its way through that much water and project itself onto the clouds above that location. Also, the light should diffuse as it makes its way through water, air, and onto the clouds above, so the seemingly neat circles of light don't seem to match up with a sea floor-based light source either.
"You, Sir, have caught some absolutely breathtaking photos of POSITIVE ET'S AND THEIR CRAFT CLEANING UP THE FUKUSHIMA RADIATION AND SAVING THE PLANET AND IT'S ECOSYSTEM FROM SURE ANNHILATION!...It is QUITE OBVIOUS WHAT THOSE LIGHTS ARE, MY "SILLY WABBITS"!!!"
Nobody seems to have considered a biological explanation.
What about a tide of bioluminescent bacteria or algae? Typically these emit blue light and are known, in the case of bacteria, as the 'milky seas effect'. But algal tides sometimes bioluminesce red or orange. With a high local concentration of nitrogen or another limiting nutrient (which might upswell from the seabed due seismic activity below) you might get extremely high concentrations leading to the patterns shown in the photograph.
One of the commenters on his site mentioned bioluminescence. It seems unlikely to me that such an effect could produce the intensity of light required to project the pattern he saw onto clouds at 30k+ feet though.
I'm hoping a resident atmospheric scientist and/or geologist will show up with answers. There's probably a very good explanation for the (electrical?) bolt of light that he saw at first and the green color of the night sky, and I'd bet almost anything that both have to do with submarine volcanic eruptions.
"An experimental hypersonic weapon developed to reach targets anywhere in the world within an hour has been destroyed by the US military four seconds after its launch for “public safety”.
The test in Alaska in the early hours of Monday morning was aborted after controllers detected a problem with the system, the Pentagon said, and the launcher is believed to have detonated before the missile was deployed."
I think this has hit it on the nose. It also fits in with his earlier observation of the launch or crash (but no photos)
"Then, very far in the distance ahead of us, just over the horizon an intense lightflash shot up from the ground. It looked like a lightning bolt, but way more intense and directed vertically up in the air. "
From the pics the light looks like something on fire. I'd speculate what he observed was a flaming oil slick on the water surface after the detonation.
Also if that's true it means that they lied about it being "in the range complex" - looks like it almost made its way to Russia.. explains why they detonated it.. nice little engineer/QA conspiracy theory
The lights in the ocean are a mystery to me, but the green light in the sky would be airglow (1). I've seen it many times, even stronger than in the op's photos. I don't believe there's any connection between the sky and the ocean lights.
I could be wrong, but I think it would be almost impossible to capture an 8-second exposure while flying and somehow manage to keep the stars from becoming light trails - at least not without some very serious camera stabilization equipment.
Since the photographer didn't seem to mention anything special used for taking the photos, I'm inclined to say they've been 'shopped.
Have you ever looked at the moon while driving? It stays in the same position relative to the car, if the car is not turning.
Plane on autopilot + camera steadied by plane body + fisheye lens (which he was using) makes this very believable.
EDIT: not to mention, we are all hurtling around the Earth at around 1,000 miles per hour AS WE SPEAK. If that doesn't produce trails (it doesn't, see my math below), a few extra hundred MPH in a plane doesn't change jack squat.
See my edit. The only trails you will see are due to the rotation of the earth; not the movement of the plane.
EDIT: MATH: Assume the horizontal FOV is ~90 degrees (conservative according to Wikipedia). 30 (time) seconds around the Earth is (90/360)/(24x60x60/30) = 1/720 of that field. Meaning, you'd need a 720 px image to even see one PIXEL of blur due to the rotation of the Earth. The additional velocity of the plane contributes MUCH LESS than this; hence it is not visible.
If a 10mm lens can capture ~120° angle of view, then the image at 1024 px (low quality) represents 0.117° per pixel. In the 30s exposure, there is < 3 px represented by many stars, so that's 0.351° of tolerance.
How often have you flown in an airplane with less than 1/3 of a degree of drift on any axis over 30 seconds?
Yes, I'm quite familiar with the rotation of the earth and its effects on long exposures (I do some astrophotography myself). I'm not referring to that here, but rather to the normal instability of an airplane.
EDIT: I'm not just referring to pitch, but also to roll, yaw and vibration.
Seeing as 1/3 degree drift in a plane traveling 700 MPH translates into nearly 300 feet of elevation gain/loss; and that the seat-back altimeter readouts on commercial airlines I've flown in never seem to deviate more than 10 feet from the set altitude, I'm gonna guess every auto-piloted flight I've been on drifts less than that.
Alright, you've convinced me. To be fair, most of this guy's other night aerial photos either have shorter exposure times or exhibit some obvious trails in the stars (even the one you posted shows considerably more streaking in the stars).
Taken out of context, the few photos included in this post did seem more suspicious, but it looks like a combination of very good/stable conditions and a lack of resolution to notice more streaking.
I thought it was worth letting you know that I upvoted this comment for conceding the debate when presented with evidence. This is a commendable skill, one which many of us lack, and which all of us occasionally forget to exercise.
Yes, I also upvoted that comment and the one he made before. This is how a debate should look like - both sides present their reasoning using (however rough) numbers and facts, and settle on the result evidence suggests. Thank you for reminding us how adults should talk, and - if you forgive going meta - thanks @nitrogen for reminding us to remind this ourselves :).
The vibration is still going to kill you, though. You don't get pinpoint stars like that in a 30 sec exposure on a tripod on a vibrating surface. Unless it's doing active image correction, I find it implausible.
1. Have you ever been on a commercial airliner? There's not really much vibration. (Yes, there's vibration, but the amplitude is not more than like a millimeter.)
2. Mechanical image stabilization exists and is common. Not sure whether fisheye lenses have it, but:
3. Fisheye lenses GREATLY reduce parallax error. Do the math out.
4. The vibration would NEED to be rotational, not lateral, for all the same reasons discussed above (stars are too far for lateral motion to change their apparent position). However little lateral vibration there is in an airplane, I guarantee there's even less rotational vibration. Sound/vibration simply doesn't work that way.
You are not incorrect about anything. The only exception to the challenge you are making could be in that assumption that the images were intentionally doctored with to disguise/obfuscate/alter reality. In face: They were intentionally doctored, there has been an editor on these files. The originals will no doubt provide further math.
EDIT: Note that JPC seems to be preparing for a naming-of-feature challenge, which in itself is an interesting aspect of the whole story! Go for it, I say!
It's actually very possible to capture that with some crude stabilization considering that his aircraft was moving towards the area he was photographing instead of laterally. (You would get a much-more pronounced motion blur of the foreground otherwise)
Just to be sure, I ran the watermarked "original" through FotoForensics:
There's some artifacts around the area but the overall pattern of the noise seems to check out. The EXIF data is also still intact (albeit processed through Photoshop), he'd have to be somewhat committed to forge that as well.
Not entirely impossible. A fixed mount for the camera (such as a tripod) would be able to get such an image, assuming steady flying conditions. In 8 seconds, stars would not leave much of a trail on a fish-eye lens (since the field of view is large).
The Hubble isn't flying through the atmosphere, and is specifically engineered to take very long-duration exposures.
You've seen the Hubble Deep Field image, right? The one where Hubble's operators found an entirely empty region of sky and stared at it for over 134 hours over ten days and 342 exposures (mostly separated to keep individual exposures from being degraded by cosmic ray strikes).
That's really not comparable with an aircraft, moving through the atmosphere, with turbulence, engine vibration, and other factors contributing to deviations from a steady trajectory. Though the image does appear to be fairly plausible from others' comments.
The question was about why there weren't streaks from the long exposure photo. My point is that the hubble also moves very fast and takes long exposures of tiny points of light without streaks. Streaking has very little to do with the atmosphere and more to do with moving the target around the sensor during exposure.
The hubble is above the atmosphere to reduce other kinds of optical interference, but streaking isn't one of them.
Any vibration or relative movement of either the camera or aircraft will also cause movement trails, though not the ones typically associated with long exposures and star trails centered on the North Star.
Most such long exposures span at least several minutes, though.
It costs a lot of money to get that large of an object into that ideal location, though. In the context of my original comment, "cost" could be seen as a proxy for "difficulty" of any kind. Perhaps it was too short and a bit flippant, but it seemed appropriate to respond in kind to the original comparison between Hubble and an airplane.
There are also aircraft-based observatories. Principally for exploring specific wavelengths of light absorbed in the lower atmosphere. And, incidentally, rather less expensive than orbital observatories.
Good guidance, getting above turbulence, and having specific compensation for movement/motion all helps.
My points stand: the characteristics of Hubble are not directly related to cost, and attributing the distinction to that alone is a poor explanation.
"A light or glow in the sky sometimes heralds a big earthquake. On 17 January 1995, for example, there were 23 reported sightings in Kobe, Japan, of a white, blue, or orange light extending some 200 meters in the air and spreading 1 to 8 kilometers across the ground. Hours later a 6.9-magnitude earthquake killed more than 5500 people..."
I'm sticking to the theory saying it is volcanic material. I mean, it's common sense. Now, when it comes to the northern lights, I wouldn't be so sure. Maybe a reaction caused by the volcanic material reaching out to the sky? It must've been an immense explosion for it to do that, though.
I'd hazard a guess that the recent volcanic activity, there was probably ash in the air? Especially with a recent earthquake. Red light photons move stronger than other colours in the spectrum don't they? I have no idea... looks amazing though.
Those photos are eight to thirty second exposures at f/2.8 and ISO >10k - there's a lot more light in the pictures than a human eye can ever gather. I'm sure the sky would still look pretty epic to a completely dark-adjusted eye, though.
I'm trying to find where you and others are getting this notion of a 30 second exposure. The watermark on the picture appears to claim 8 seconds and there's nothing else on the site that indicates much more than 8 seconds. Was the post edited at some point?
I missed the other one as well which was a 3 second exposure. So, my mistake. (I thought for certain I didn't see anything with 30 seconds on it, but I think somewhere along the lines my brain filtered out the watermarks inappropriately, which I shouldn't have done.)
Although I'm still puzzled why some are getting caught up on the frame with a 30 second exposure. The image in question is clearly taken of a distant object, and the other exposures are reduced in exposure time by an order of magnitude.
Clearly, there was something occurring. Whether or not it was volcanic is another story entirely (or whether it was a collection of boats). The only use here though is to argue whether the differing exposure times was intentional in order to capture an image that differed from the actual event. But given the different exposure times, the alternative explanation is that he selected them based (at least in part) on proximity to the point of interest.
Hi, streaking is not necessarily due to parallax. It's due to movement of the camera and or movement of the earth. (Try taking a hand held long exposure of the stars, for example).
I guess for that 8s the plan was very stable (no rolling/pitching) AND the focal length is short enough and the resolution low enough the streakiness is masked. I'm still impressed by the amount of stars he captured.
At first, I thought this might have been an announcement for a spin-off of "Welcome to Night Vale."
If you're not familiar, it's a fiction podcast that presents itself as a community announcement hour on the town of Night Vale's public radio station. There was a particular story arc involving a sentient, glowing cloud that descended on town and demanded to be made a part of the city council.