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No. 80: Mar-Apr 1992

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Concentric, rotating luminous rings seen in sweden

On an evening in late January, 1991, near Borlange, Sweden, four observers watched what seemed to be a system of luminous rings for about 15-20 minutes. The rings were estimated to be 2-5 kilometers away and 10-30 meters in size. E. Witalis has provided a direct translation of their report.

"The light phenomenon, which was strongly luminous, consisted of scintillating, rotating rings arranged as a system of plates (small rings in the centre and increasingly large ones towards the edges). The rings seemed to consist of sparks running around in a circular or slightly elliptical path with an impressive speed. Spontaneously I associated them with electrical discharges. The plate shape was felt as being in some way static as to location, and the sparks moved in a pattern without spreading out at the edges. It seemed that strong force was controlling the event. The sparks looked like having a core and a 'tail' behind. They looked like being able to crackle but no sound was heard, perhaps because of the distance. It was interesting to note that the rings were spinning in opposite directions. The effect clearly illuminated the surrounding air space. The whole light phenomenon took place with knifesharp edges in clear weather (temperature between -1 and -3 deg. C."

(Witalis. Erik; "An Air Plasma Whirl, Seen in the Atmosphere, Sweden, January 1991," Journal of Meteorology, U.K., 16:273, 1991.)

Comment. Of course, the author is actually assuming that a plasma was observed.

From Science Frontiers #80, MAR-APR 1992. � 1992-2000 William R. Corliss