Mysterious crown flash captured near Moscow, Russia

0
596

A mysterious crown flash appeared in the sky near Moscow on July 4, 2016.

This rare and elusive sky phenomenon was captured on video by Alina Abayeva

crown flash, crown flash moscow, crown flash russia, crown flash july 2016, crown flash mystery, crown flash moscow russia video, crown flash moscow russia picture
Alina Abaeva

A crown flash is a rare but observed phenomenon involving the brightening of a thunderhead crown followed by the appearance of tornado-like streamers emanating into the clear atmosphere.

crown flash, crown flash moscow, crown flash russia, crown flash july 2016, crown flash mystery, crown flash moscow russia video, crown flash moscow russia picture
Alina Abaeva

The current hypothesis is that sunlight is reflecting off or refracting through tiny ice crystals above the crown of a cumulonimbus cloud. These ice crystals are aligned by the strong electro-magnetic effects around the cloud, so the effect may appear as a tall streamer or pillar of light.

crown flash, crown flash moscow, crown flash russia, crown flash july 2016, crown flash mystery, crown flash moscow russia video, crown flash moscow russia picture
Alina Abaeva

When the electro-magnetic field is disturbed by lightning flashes within the cloud, the ice crystals are re-orientated causing the light pattern to shift very rapidly and appear to ‘dance’ in a strikingly mechanical fashion.

crown flash, crown flash moscow, crown flash russia, crown flash july 2016, crown flash mystery, crown flash moscow russia video, crown flash moscow russia picture
Alina Abaeva

The effect may also sometimes known as a “leaping sundog”. As with sundogs, the observer would have to be in a specific position to see the effect, which is not a self-generated light such as seen in a lightning strike, but rather a changing reflection/refraction of the sunlight.

crown flash, crown flash moscow, crown flash russia, crown flash july 2016, crown flash mystery, crown flash moscow russia video, crown flash moscow russia picture
From Indiana in 2015

Mentioned in Nature in 1971 and in a letter to Nature slightly earlier in the same year, this phenomenon is regarded as rare and not well documented.

Recently several YouTube videos have emerged that appear to document this rarely seen crown flash phenomenon.

Follow us: Facebook and Twitter

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.