Finally, NASA Figures Out the Mystery of the Unexplainable Flashes Reflecting Off Earth

By: | June 1st, 2017

Image courtesy NASA

NASA’s orbiting camera is capturing ‘unexpected flashes of light’ reflecting off our planet. These flashes of light have given rise to many speculations… like what they are and why are they occurring.

Moreover, these flashes are so large that they can be seen even from space. Initially, NASA scientists thought they were caused by sunlight reflecting off the surface of the ocean. Then scientists started spotting them on land as well, and they were clueless about their cause.

Alien hunters started making stories regarding these mysterious “flashes” as evidence of some extraterrestrial life.

Alexander Marshak from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, said, “We found quite a few very bright flashes over land as well. When I first saw it, I thought maybe there was some water there, or a lake the sun reflects off of. But the glint is pretty big, so it wasn’t that.”

NOAA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory, or DSCOVR, caught hundreds of these flashes over the span of a year. They detected 866 bursts of light between June 2015 and August 2016.

After researching, scientists deciphered that the tiny cause to these big reflections were high-altitude, horizontally oriented ice crystals. Marshak said, “The source of the flashes is definitely not on the ground. It’s definitely ice, and most likely solar reflection off of horizontally oriented particles.”

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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