Sunday, August 23, 2009

Weird Sights in the Sky

An almost clear blue sky can put on some remarkable displays of magic - and can even help change the course of history. In 1461 Edward IV was about to fight a Lancastrian force at Mortimer's Cross in Herefordshire when his army saw a fantastic vision - three suns were lined up in a row in the sky. His men panicked but Edward took the sight as a good omen and rallied the troops to victory.

Weird Lights

In June 1996 a sphere of light the size of a tennis ball flew into a printing factory in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire. A dozen workers looked up in astonishment as the blue and white ball whizzed round inside, spinning along girders, hitting print machinery, sending sparks flying. Finally it hit a window and exploded with an orange flash and a tremendous bang, knocking out the telephone switchboard. "The whole place was lit up," said Simon Pocock, one of the staff. "The sparks were unbelievable - it was like a horror movie." Three people received electric shocks, one lady was hit in the shoulder.
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Thousands of people all over the world have reported seeing mysterious glowing balls of light gliding inside their homes and even inside aircraft. They vary in size from a golfball to a football, in a variety of iridescent colours, with little noise, no smell and generally disappear by hitting television sets or other electrical fittings with a pop. In the most violent cases, glowing balls have exploded into flames and set houses ablaze. It's a phenomenon called "ball lightning". It usually come during thunderstorms, but no one knows what it is except that it's an electrical freak of nature. Ball lightning might even help explain "Foo Fighters". In World War II many pilots reported glowing balls of light flying alongside their aircraft. They thought it was some sort of secret enemy weapon, but German and Allied pilots both experienced the same phenomenon. To this day the lights remain a complete mystery.

Weird Weather

If you thought the weather was just sunshine and showers what do you make of balls of glowing light, showers of frogs, giant lumps of ice that fall from the heavens, ships floating in the sky, and many other weird sights? Weather can behave in very bizarre ways, and scientists have to scratch their heads when they try to explain some of these unusual phenomena.