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No. 81: May-Jun 1992

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Unidentified light explained?

The strange optical phenomenon reported in SF#80 may have been the consequence of a barium release from a NASA satellite. At 9:17 PM EST, on January 13, 1991, the Combined Release and Radiation Effects Satellite (CRRES) detonated a small canister of barium over South America. The greenish glow was visible from the U.S. southeast coast in the southwestern sky. (Suplee, Curt; "NASA Light Show 'Paints' Earth's Magnetic Field," Washington Post, January 14, 1991. Cr. D. Kreinbrink)

Comment: The observation reported in SF#80 was logged as occurring at 0210 UTC, January 13, so there is a time discrepancy that needs to be resolved here.

From Science Frontiers #81, MAY-JUN 1992. 1992-2000 William R. Corliss