There’s more strange goings-on in Siberia. Why is it always Siberia?
Locals across the northern stretches of Russia reported seeing this mysterious ball of light in the night sky this week. As freaky lights in the night often make people do, peeps took to social media explain, with theories/pronouncements ranging from UFO invasion or a hole in the space-time continuum, to a trick of the light played by the northern lights.
"I went out to smoke a cigarette and thought it was the end of the world," one guy remarked on Russian social media site VK.
The reality might be even stranger than fiction. Many are suggesting that this weird sight was actually caused by the launch of Russia’s much-hyped Satan 2 Topol-M rockets. On the same day, President Vladimir Putin personally fired four ballistic missiles during tests of Russia’s strategic nuclear forces, according to the Kremlin.
The Intercontinental ballistic missiles, capable of carrying nuclear warheads, were blasted across most of the vast country, from the Plesetsk in the west of Russia to the Kamchatka peninsula in Russia’s furthermost eastern point.
It’s known that rocket launches at night can create interesting illusions in the sky. As the rockets climb into the atmosphere, a combination of pre-dawn light and certain atmospheric conditions can result in odd tricks of the light. Take, for example, the launch of the Atlas V rocket back in 2015.
Photographer Alexey Yakovlev captured a stunning image of the orb from Plesetsk, a town near to the launch site, along with some rather beautiful hints of the aurora borealis, aka the northern lights.
He posted his photography on VK, commenting: "It seems I accidentally shoot the launch of a secret space rocket from Plesetsk."
"I was taken aback for a few minutes, not understanding what was happening,” Sergey Anisimov, another photographer who saw the lights from the town of Salekhard, told The Siberian Times.
"The glowing ball rose from behind the trees and moved in my direction. My first thought was about the most powerful searchlight, but the speed of changing everything around changed the idea of what was happening.”
"The ball began to turn into an arc and gradually dissipated."
So alas, not aliens or the end of the world. Secret Russian rocket launches are still exciting though.