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Ezekiel’s Wheel Over Norway?

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“This morning in arctic Norway, onlookers were stunned when a gigantic luminous spiral formed in the northern sky. “We are used to seeing lots of auroras here in Norway, but this was different,” says Nick Banbury of Harstad who witnessed the phenomenon on his way to work “between 7:50 and 8:00 a.m. local time.” Onlooker Jan Petter Jorgensen took this photo:

The first reaction of many readers when they see this picture is Photoshop! Surely this must be a fake. But no, many independent observers witnessed and phtotographed the apparition. It is real.

Banbury continues: “It consisted initially of a green beam of light similar in color to the aurora with a mysterious rotating spiral at one end. This spiral then got bigger and bigger until it turned into a huge halo in the sky with the green beam extending down to Earth. According to press reports, this could be seen all over northern Norway and must therefore have been very high up in the atmosphere to be seen hundreds of km apart.”

UPDATE: Circumstantial evidence is mounting that the phenomenon was caused by a malfunctioning rocket, possibly an ICBM launched from a Russian submarine. A Navtex no-fly alert was issued for the White Sea on Dec. 9th, and photographers appear to have recorded the initial boost phase of a launch below the spiral (see inset). A rocket motor spinning out of control could indeed explain the spiral pattern, so this explanation seems plausible, although it has not yet been confirmed.” (SpaceWeather.com via julia)

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The Smell of Space

STS-116 Shuttle Mission Imagery S116-E-05983 (...

Strong, metallic and unique, NASA astronauts say: “There is one smell up here that is really unique though and that is the smell, we just call it ‘the smell of space’.

“I haven’t had a chance to do a spacewalk yet … but when the other guys did and they came back in, … there’s this really, really strong metallic smell.” (Sydney Morning Herald)

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Who Owns the Moon?

The Galactic Government vs. the UN: “…[A] Nevada entrepreneur says he owns the moon and that he's interim president of the first known galactic government.

Dennis Hope, head of the Lunar Embassy Corporation, has sold real estate on the moon and other planets to about 3.7 million people so far.

(Also see “NASA Aims to Open Moon for Business.”)

As his customer base grew, he said, buyers wanted assurances that their property rights would be protected.

So Hope started his own government in 2004, which has a ratified constitution, a congress, a unit of currency—even a patent office.” (National Geographic)

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Apollo 11: 5 Little-Known Facts About the Moon Landing

“Millions may have experienced the Apollo 11 moon landing on TV—and now, 40 years later, online. But a few facts aren't exactly common knowledge, including…” (National Geographic )

The interesting one, from my perspective, is that because well-known atheist Madelyn Murray O’Hair was in the midst of suing the government at the time over the issue of public officials praying, Buzz Aldrin celebrated communion before departing the moon’s surface but kept it a secret.

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Boom From Universe’s Early Days

It was snap, crackle and pop in the early days of the universe. You would not want to live there. Astronomers said Tuesday that they had smashed the long-distance record in astronomy when they recorded an explosion, probably a massive early star, that lived and died 13 billion years ago, only about 600 million years after the Big Bang. The explosion was detected on April 23 as a burst of gamma-rays by NASA’s Swift satellite, which has been patrolling the skies for these powerful explosions for the last five years.” (New York Times )