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Strange Video of Dancing Cloud Explained By Electric Discharge

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the because-clouds-do-not-have-hormones dept.

Science 91

The Bad Astronomer writes "A few months ago I was sent a really weird video showing a cloud snapping around suddenly, far faster than wind could explain. I asked a meteorologist about it, who told me it was due to ice crystals re-aligning when the cloud's electric field discharged. It's pretty amazing to watch, and a great example of how many cool things happen right in front of us that we never notice."

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Last Post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37833030)

Ummm Last Post

Mythbusters! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37833106)

Sounds like the basis for an awesome mythbusters episode:

"And now, Jaime will attempt to discharge a storm cloud using this kite!"

Re:Mythbusters! (1)

click2005 (921437) | more than 2 years ago | (#37833142)

I hope the cloud Franklins his ass.

Re:Mythbusters! (3, Insightful)

errandum (2014454) | more than 2 years ago | (#37833168)

And since they won't be able to do it, the conclusion will be "busted" (even though it is actually possible).

I love the show, but when they conclude stuff because they can or can't do something it kind of pisses me off :(

Re:Mythbusters! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37833864)

Given that they regularly revisit shit they get enough whining about, I suggest you go whine to them.

Re:Mythbusters! (1)

Pollardito (781263) | more than 2 years ago | (#37839546)

I'm trying to think of how they could test this by blowing something up. If they can't do that, then I'm not sure they'll bother

Re:Mythbusters! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37833980)

Nothing to see here. It's the hand of God. The first trumpet is about to sound. Beware. The end is near.

Re:Mythbusters! (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#37835016)

No, it's just some ghosts. Call the ghost busters.

It's a hoax (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37833158)

There's nothing interesting happening on this mud ball. Cold, hard vacuum with bleak, desolate, lifeless rocks separated by light minutes of more hard vacuum, that's the future!

Re:It's a hoax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37833376)

Thank you! Someone needs to sock it to those space nutters.

Re:It's a hoax (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37833664)

Reality will do that by itself. I'm just mocking the retards for my own pleasure.

Re:It's a hoax (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#37833960)

Where's your account?

Re:It's a hoax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37834262)

Having an account won't change the basic facts that are stacked against the Space Nutters. There will never be space colonies, McDonald's on the Moon or asteroid mining, or a weekend retreat at the Mars bungalow. Anyone with two eyes drilled into his head and an IQ over 80 should be able to understand this.

But keep fucking that chicken you delusional retards, I'm laughing at you every single day!

The Earth is not a mud ball, it's not "this rock". If it is, well, the other planets aren't even mud balls! Too hot! Too dry! Not even solid! Never mind there's no magnetosphere or atmosphere.... You could only wish they are as nice a rock as the Earth. They aren't.

I'm sorry the feverishly delirious promises of the Space Age were.... overly optimistic, let's put it this way. I'm sorry you feel it's the species' destiny to fly out on magical rockets and live happily ever after on fantasy planets with suburbs and cars. I'm sorry you mistook sci-fi for reality. The same lunatics who thought computers would still fill basements in 500 years but thought we'd have FTL ships aren't exactly the great prophets of the future after all, huh?

I pitty sad people like you with no vision. (1)

runner_one (455793) | more than 2 years ago | (#37834766)

There are new discoveries everyday. The day will come when we can cross stellar distances as easy as we now cross an ocean, Of that I have no doubt. Maybe not in my lifetime or my children's or even great grand children. But someday it will happen. How do I know this? All you have to do is look from where we have come. Each society in history has thought they knew all there is to know about the universe. We are not different I laugh in the face of any one who is pompous and arrogant enough to say It is impossible. What kind of hubris does it take to say "No, it’s impossible, the distances are too great”. Bullshit! We are only beginning to understand the physics of the universe, and we already know that there is at least one thing that is faster than light. Quantum entanglement is instantaneous no matter the distance. Although we have not yet figured a way to exploit this for FTL communications or travel, there is a some mechanism in the universe that underlies the observed results. There are many scientists working with Quantum entanglement, even as I write this. I even believe we will see FTL communications in my lifetime, and I am 48. But aside form communications, there are many other theories at the edge of our understanding that may open up space to easy travel someday. Warp Drive? No, we can't make it work yet, but what about in a hundred or a thousand years? Howe about Worm Holes? No, once again, not yet. But someday. And what other secrets are out there waiting to be discovered? We must keep trying. We must keep pushing, just as the great inventors before us did.

Re:I pitty sad people like you with no vision. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37835974)

Religious drivel. You "know" nothing. You have no practical facts, no physical reality to back up your outlandish hopes. It's sad that at 48 you're so clueless. Probably a software type. You think the world will just "import FTL" and poof! Magic! Spaceships.

A lot of people far smarter than you or me have looked at physics and chemistry. Unless we've overlooked VAST gaps in our knowledge, what you see now is IT. Do you know of any hidden chemical elements we've missed?

Too bad you don't want to live long enough to see who's right, eh? Do you think we'll have life extension too, or is *that* totally impossible according to your "knowledge"?

Re:I pitty sad people like you with no vision. (1)

runner_one (455793) | more than 2 years ago | (#37836390)

Religious? There was nothing religious in my post.
I am glad that people like you are in the minority or we would still be using stone knives.
People like you are a waste of the Earth's resources.
For you tomorrow will be like today, and the day after tomorrow will be like the day before yesterday. Your remaining days will be a tedious collection of hours full of useless actions. People like you think no new thoughts, and you forget what little you have known. Older you become, but not wiser. Stiffer, but not more dignified. Hopeless you are, and hopeless you will remain. Of that wisdom you once sought in your youth, of that quest for knowledge you once had, it neither endures, nor shall you recapture it.

Re:I pitty sad people like you with no vision. (1)

Maritz (1829006) | more than 2 years ago | (#37836848)

I agree with your general point about how the future will be more different than we imagine, but quantum entanglement doesn't help with FTL I'm afraid. Although you can measure an entangled particle and therefore cause its partner to become the anti-particle of what you end up detecting, you can't use it to transmit data because the tranmitted 'bit' will always be random between the particle and antiparticle. So yes you can transmit noise FTL through entanglement, but not information sadly. The fact that this then would appear to raise paradoxes (sending messages into the past etc) is a further difficulty.

Re:I pitty sad people like you with no vision. (1)

runner_one (455793) | more than 2 years ago | (#37840632)

I am simply pointing out there there is some "connection" that bypasses the universal speed limit. Once we understand and exploit this who knows what doors will open.

Re:I pitty sad people like you with no vision. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37840746)

Dude, he's trolling. Every time an article gets posted about space exploration, this wank-master shows up like Michael Kristopeit.

Re:It's a hoax (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37835542)

He goes by Quantum Apostrophe on other sites, but Slashdot's karma system makes having an account impractical for him...

I'll fix it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37833194)

Damn holo-projecter is gone again...

Ohhhh, that explains it (1)

itchythebear (2198688) | more than 2 years ago | (#37833198)

Now all we have to do is figure out why the aliens are causing electric discharges and we can call this mystery solved!

Re:Ohhhh, that explains it (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 2 years ago | (#37835614)

It's a side effect from their cloaking field malfunctioning. Obviously, the meteorologist is an alien plant trying to cover up the truth.

Re:Ohhhh, that explains it (1)

Solandri (704621) | more than 2 years ago | (#37835920)

Back in the 1990s, I was on a commuter flight whose pilot decided to land in the middle of a thunderstorm. The turbulence was so bad that if you didn't have your seatbelt fastened, you would be thrown out of your seat. But the experience made me realize that the lightning we see from the ground is just a tiny fraction of all the lightning that goes off. The vast majority of it is air-to-air, not air-to-ground, and hidden from view from the ground by the thick clouds during a thunderstorm. Up at 25,000 feet while we were starting our descent, the cumulonimbus cloud was simply alive with lightning [youtube.com] , with (visible through my window) several flashes going off every second [youtube.com] .

So the frequency with which these ice crystals realign is completely normal, not extraterrestrial.

Re:Ohhhh, that explains it (1)

itchythebear (2198688) | more than 2 years ago | (#37836162)

Interesting, so what your saying is that aliens are also the source of lighting? Things are stating to make more sense now...

In all seriousness, thanks for sharing the videos. very cool.

It's a glitch (1)

EdtheFox (959194) | more than 2 years ago | (#37833204)

It's a glitch in the matrix!

I studied meteorology (2)

catmistake (814204) | more than 2 years ago | (#37833274)

Speaking as someone who took a couple meteorology courses in college, I can confirm the Bad Astronomer's observation: it is weird.

Re:I studied meteorology (4, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#37833400)

Speaking as someone who took a couple meteorology courses in college, I can confirm the Bad Astronomer's observation: it is weird.

Obviously you didn't go on to get a meteorology degree. If you had, you would have stated that there was an 80% chance of it being weird.

Re:I studied meteorology (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 2 years ago | (#37833600)

No. If he had taken meteorology courses in college, he would have said that there is an 80% chance that such an event would not be observed, even though we are watching it happen already.

Re:I studied meteorology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37834932)

I would say it is a 100% chance you didn't get parents joke. :)

Re:I studied meteorology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37835622)

Poor Kim

Re:I studied meteorology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37838190)

It's weird because of the strange sense of hesitation and reflex like spasms that gives it the impression of being alive.

Re:I studied meteorology (1)

flonker (526111) | more than 2 years ago | (#37841346)

Speaking as someone who took a couple meteorology courses in college, I can confirm the Bad Astronomer's observation: it is weird.

Obviously you didn't go on to get a meteorology degree. If you had, you would have stated that there was an 80% chance of it being weird.

And if you had gotten a mathematics degree, you would have stated that there is a 95% chance of there being an 80% chance of it being weird.

electrical charge. (0)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#37833466)

if it was a natural phenomenon, it should have happened before elsewhere, and it should have happened again.

i love how scholastisizm in academia got to a level of 'explaining' things without doing ANY research or experiment these days.

Re:electrical charge. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37833596)

It has and it will. You do some research.

Re:electrical charge. (1)

jovius (974690) | more than 2 years ago | (#37833826)

Why couldn't a natural phenomenon be unique?

Re:electrical charge. (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 2 years ago | (#37834212)

Natural implies repetition. Repetition is needed for naturalness because without repetition you cannot analyze it and place it in the context of a larger systems, thus providing "explanation": "it's natural"

Re:electrical charge. (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 2 years ago | (#37834406)

Natural implies repetition.

Yeah, not buying that, so not reading the rest of your thought.

Re:electrical charge. (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 2 years ago | (#37835174)

I am guessing you are not using calculators with Polish notation.

Re:electrical charge. (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 2 years ago | (#37839860)

I am guessing you are not using calculators with Polish notation.

When I was a juvenile I heard a racist joke; it was something like Q: "What do you find in a Polack's nose?" A: "Fingerprints." Of course, at this young age I did not know different nations, but I did know fish. So I thought it was exceedingly odd that, first, the fish pollock has noses; second, that people wanted to look inside them; and third, that they would find that other people had already been digitally exploring in there! (Later I learned the national meaning, and the joke became a lot less stupendous -- and more simply mean.)

Re:electrical charge. (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 2 years ago | (#37842410)

I do not know what to make out of your comment, but just in case you or somebody else does not know and is too lazy to look up the term:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish_notation [wikipedia.org]

In some ways Polish_notation is opposite to the way we usually do arithmetic. That is why when I first formulated the thesis and then brought the argumentation, I brought the allusion to Polish notation, implying that NatasRevol did not recognize the structure of my comment (the other possibility of course is that this user simply rejected the thesis outright not even considering reading the argumentation)

Re:electrical charge. (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 2 years ago | (#37870688)

Yeah, I left out the thought (somewhat expressed in the XKCD link) which was the source of my post: I recalled it as Reverse Polish Notation, and seeing it without the Reverse caused me to take a trip down memory lane. And now that I read the link, I've learned something new: there is an inverse form of the RPN I learned long ago, which has the operators in front. I'm guessing the calculator (and Forth, etc) creators chose to reverse it, as that makes stack-based operations easier. Anyway, enjoy!

Re:electrical charge. (1)

Maritz (1829006) | more than 2 years ago | (#37836936)

There is the 'principle of mediocrity' which simply suggests that we shouldn't assume that we are in a special location in the universe. It's clear however that even though nature is composed of simple building blocks (at least the few percent of the universe that consists of baryonic matter and energy that we can detect) it is capable of immense variety as the laws of the universe unfold. The solar system with its eight planets is actually a good example, many celestial bodies are very distict, for example we only have one Io-like body in the solar system, one titan-like body, one earth, etc - for me this suggests that on this scale at least the variety of objects is likely to be vast. And that's really just physics/geology, once you get into biology it's a whole different paradigm.

Re:electrical charge. (1)

Onymous Coward (97719) | more than 2 years ago | (#37835594)

That's an interesting way to define natural.

If the flock of chickens in my yard happen to stand such that they clearly spell out the word "unique", is that unnatural or just chance? What if they make a pattern that doesn't happen to be significant, but that we can't expect them ever to make again?

If there's only one universe, is it unnatural?

Re:electrical charge. (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 2 years ago | (#37842378)

Not natural does not imply unnatural. In other words, "unnatural" needs another definition. I am offering you a consistent definition of "natural" as a set of things that could be a subject of a scientific method.

Unnatural in common usage means something that seems to be created by intelligent will, going in some way against the natural order of things. But we have to know that to claim that. For most of the things that are unique we simply do not know anything to imply either intelligent will or some unknown natural law. They are not natural and not unnatural.

Chickens, yard, spelling and standing are all natural events by itself as well as some of the combinations. If chickens in your yard or around the world repeatedly spell "unique" - then it could be a subject of scientific study. If they did it once, there is nothing to study scientifically.

defining "natural" (1)

Onymous Coward (97719) | more than 2 years ago | (#37846306)

I see. You're defining "natural" jargonistically, rather than for everyday (or even casual philosophical) conversation. For a second there I thought you were being philosophical.

Re:electrical charge. (1)

djscoumoune (1731422) | more than 2 years ago | (#37833844)

I remember someone explaining why the sky was blue by saying it was because it transmitted every colors but blue. That's not explaining, it's just saying it's blue. Some people seem ok with reformulating real world things with scientific words and believing it's an explanation.

Re:electrical charge. (1)

hrimhari (1241292) | more than 2 years ago | (#37834134)

That's because nobody will live long enough to scientifically get to a single origin of anything (if there's one), so we draw the line somewhere until somebody advances it further.

Someone famous once said (I hope you can place it ;) ) : "To make an apple pie from scratch first you need to create the universe."

Re:electrical charge. (1)

amliebsch (724858) | more than 2 years ago | (#37834978)

I know who said that! It was Agent Smith! [youtube.com]

Re:electrical charge. (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 2 years ago | (#37834200)

If somebody explains to you how colors work, it's up to you to have the basic faculty to understand the explanation. Saying that color x is the most reflected color of an object makes it color x is the most basic and accurate explanation of why a thing is one color and not another. To understand the subjectivity of color to the human mind would take a much more detailed explanation of the human retina and nervous system and the brain itself. To understand the greater depth of the physicality of light would require extensive discourse on the nature of electromagnetism, the creation and dissemination of photons, etc.

If you can't understand simple differences between absorbed light and reflected light, any further detail on the underlying subjects would be wasted breath.

Re:electrical charge. (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 2 years ago | (#37835742)

Saying that color x is the most reflected color of an object makes it color x is the most basic and accurate explanation of why a thing is one color and not another.

During my college orientation, among other activities, we were shown some kind of presentation where this woman claimed that pouring water into a red glass imbued it with some attributes associated with the color red. I knew it was bunk and raised my hand. When I was called on, I explained that the glass was red because it allowed all colors to pass through it except for the color red. This color was reflected back to our eyes. If it absorbed the red light, it wouldn't look red to us. So, given that the red light was reflected and all other colors absorbed (or allowed to pass through), shouldn't the water in the glass be "imbued" with the attributes of all colors except for red*?

She didn't like this question, much and I wasn't called on to ask any more questions.

* Of course, the "keep the story straight" quack answer could have been: "Well, absorbing the attributes of all colors except for red gives X effect. We'll shorthand this by saying it's 'imbued with the power of red.'" I wasn't going to do her job for her, though.

Re:electrical charge. (1)

lennier (44736) | more than 2 years ago | (#37837090)

When I was called on, I explained that the glass was red because it allowed all colors to pass through it except for the color red. This color was reflected back to our eyes.

Nice theory, except that red light is transmitted through a red glass, not reflected off it, as you could verify by the simple experiment of holding that glass up to a light source. So, the opposite of what you just said is the case. No wonder your teacher was annoyed with the question.

Re:electrical charge. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37833852)

if it was a natural phenomenon, it should have happened before elsewhere, and it should have happened again.

Oh, you mean like global warming/global climate change?

i love how scholastisizm in academia got to a level of 'explaining' things without doing ANY research or experiment these days.

No kidding.

Re:electrical charge. (1)

Ch_Omega (532549) | more than 2 years ago | (#37835032)

if it was a natural phenomenon, it should have happened before elsewhere, and it should have happened again.

Here you go: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xK1g_5x2jBU [youtube.com]

Re:electrical charge. (0)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#37835368)

'before' not being in the past 2 years. 'way before'.

Re:electrical charge. (1)

Ch_Omega (532549) | more than 2 years ago | (#37836656)

'before' not being in the past 2 years. 'way before'.

Who says it hasn't?

Re:electrical charge. (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#37836776)

show me.

Re:electrical charge. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37837430)

show me.

So unless I show you something, it hasn't happened before? Didn't know I had that kind of power over reality. :)

Re:electrical charge. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37837722)

A quick google search shows several articles noting the effect going back to the 90s, including detecting it via radar and producing the alignment effect in a lab. Of course there is a bias with online content and site like Youtube for more recent times than further back. But there are still references to articles like "Orientation of ice crystals in the electric field of a thunderstorm" from 1965 you could track down if you went to a university library.

Re:electrical charge. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37840406)

if it was a natural phenomenon, it should have happened before elsewhere, and it should have happened again.

Who said it didn't happen before elsewhere? Besides, if you'd followed up, you'd have seen that similar, related phenomena are anything but unresearched.

Glitch in the Matrix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37833540)

I'm afraid to say that it is a glitch in the Matrix.

Reflection (1, Insightful)

Tony Isaac (1301187) | more than 2 years ago | (#37833594)

It doesn't look like part of the cloud to me, the brightness and tint isn't quite right. It looks more like a reflection, as if there were glass between the camera and the sky, with something in the foreground reflecting at just the right place to make it look like part of the cloud.

Re:Reflection (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37833814)

I am guessing that he saw it first and then decided to record it.

Re:Reflection (4, Informative)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 2 years ago | (#37833842)

> ...something ... reflecting at just the right place...

Yes. Ice crystals.

Re:Reflection (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37836338)

Ice Ice crystals...

Re:Reflection (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#37834192)

No, it stays at the same place when the camera is moved.

Re:Reflection (1)

Newander (255463) | more than 2 years ago | (#37835562)

Parallax FTW!

Sure, sure (0)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#37833794)

That's just what those weather controlling, HARP using, economy crashing, illuminati would say.

Re:Sure, sure (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 2 years ago | (#37836900)

HARP nothing, it's the Chupacabras that are doing it. With their minds. To communicate with bigfoot... who lives partway down the holes to hell and who are generating EM ghost signatures. With their minds. To confuse the witches that call in to Coast to Coast (formerly with Art Bell) into thinking they are possessed. All of which means NASA has been hiding evidence of life on mars from us. In order to misdirect our attention from the faked moon landings. [runs away, foaming at mouth]

Re:Sure, sure (1)

Cylix (55374) | more than 2 years ago | (#37838870)

Actually, it's been quite documented the moon landings were in fact real.

It just wasn't our moon.

Froth over that one buddy!

Ice halo? (1)

Bob-taro (996889) | more than 2 years ago | (#37834284)

My first thought was that it was some disturbance in the air between the photographer and the clouds causing diffraction that made the cloud appear to warp, but the ice crystal explanation seems to fit the picture better. It does remind me of pictures I've seen of ice halos - but I never heard they could "move" like that.

Re:Ice halo? (1)

tibit (1762298) | more than 2 years ago | (#37835138)

It doesn't seem to move all that much. The crystals probably stay where they are, they merely twist to align with the electric field. Think ice electrometers. Millions or billions of them...

Re:Ice halo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37837970)

I understood it that way too. Kind of like a natural analog of the DSP projector mirror.

A miracle (1)

jweller13 (1148823) | more than 2 years ago | (#37834292)

I think it was the virgin Mary getting jiggy with it.

Re:A miracle (1)

Tony Isaac (1301187) | more than 2 years ago | (#37834782)

YES! I think I see her image in the clouds! Now what do you suppose we can sell to commemorate the event?

Not Ice Crystals. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37834846)

Clearly, this is just a glitch in The Matrix.

Re:Not Ice Crystals. (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#37835240)

Clearly, this is just a glitch in The Matrix.

It seems I've already read this several times in this thread ... oh wait, seeing the same thing again is a sign of a glitch in the Matrix. So you are obviously right! :-)

looks more like some light effects (1)

kubitus (927806) | more than 2 years ago | (#37835142)

caused by shadows and light intermittent thrown on the outer parts of the cloud!

especially as it looks like repeated patterns.

fake (1)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 2 years ago | (#37836896)

As suggested by a comment to the video, it appears to be some water on top of a piece of glass in front of the camera, being blown around.

I HAVE SEEN THIS (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37836964)

I watch thunderstorms very closely. 2 summers ago I saw a thunderstorm over my hometown of Baltimore and saw exactly this kind of behavior. It was like the entire side of the cloud tower suddenly bent and twisted around. It looked impossibly huge and fast moving at the time, like a huge piece of sheet metal snapping around suddenly. It definitely smacked of some kind of electrical related effect. Very cool to see this confirmed.

Um, Photoshop? (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 2 years ago | (#37838120)

I've seen better fakes on ghost hunting shows.

Thats it for UFOs then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37840170)

Ok will thats it for UFOs - or rather Flying Saucers - then. Between Weather Baloons, Satellites, Spy Planes, Roll Clouds, Saucer Clouds, Ball Lightning, Atmospheric Lensing, Will O The Wisps (called Minmins in Australia) and just plain good ole Prankstering, I can't really see any place for the aliens to hide anymore.

"In 2034, femtotech technology finally betrayed the presence of alien probes at the molecular level. But of course by that time we were already receiving email bulletins from them and planning to visit them in the summer anyway."

vertical video (1)

huh_ (53063) | more than 2 years ago | (#37840412)

Why the fuck do people record video on their phone in the vertical position? There are so many cases of this.. morons.

Re:vertical video (1)

Tzarius (688342) | more than 2 years ago | (#37842082)

More importantly, why don't video sites recognise this and change the aspect ratio of the player to match? Also seems like there should be some way to tag mobile video formats with accelerometer readings (and therefore orientation) during recording.

Re:vertical video (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37842452)

So you'd rather this video of the sky showed less sky top and bottom, in exchange for more boring buildings left and right?

Electrification studies with radar (2)

tuxicle (996538) | more than 2 years ago | (#37840568)

There was a rather large field campaign called The Severe Thunderstorm Electrification and Precipitation Study [noaa.gov] (STEPS) to study electrification done around the year 2000 that involved the use of polarimetric weather radar to observe electrified storms, in conjunction with the New Mexico Tech Lightning Monitoring Array [nmt.edu] (LMA).

One of the nice things about polarimetric radar is the ability to measure the aggregate orientation of particles, including ice crystals. When scanning active electrified storms, the radars observed polarimetric signatures indicating increased vertical orientation of particles aloft (ice crystals), which then suddenly snapped back to roughly random orientation. This event corresponded well with measurements from the LMA. In other words, they could, using radar, predict lightning strikes. I love science!

Aliens... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37841788)

Yep, ice crystals aligning to an electric field... GENERATE BY THE ALIEN SHIP!

Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37843106)

I'd be curious to know if this would have any effect on an aircraft passing through the area.

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