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< Back to Volume 18, Number 2


A Long-Term Scientific Survey of the Hessdalen Phenomenon

Massimo Teodorani, CNR�Istituto di Radioastronomia / Radiotelescopi di Medicina, Via Fiorentina, 40060 Villafontana (BO) Italy

The balls of light which appear in the Hessdalen valley in Norway are exemplary of anomalous atmospheric luminous phenomena that occur frequently at some locations on Earth. The recurrence of the phenomenon and the existence of an instrumented observation station makes this area an ideal research site. The apparent correlation of luminous phenomena with magnetic perturbations, radio emission, and radar tracks, found by Norwegian researchers, led some Italian physicists and engineers of the EMBLA Project to reanalyze the Norwegian data. The second step was three explorative, instrumented, field-study expeditions. The behavior of the phenomenon was monitored with optical, radio, and radar techniques. The global picture of the phenomenon obtained so far shows that the phenomenon ' s radiant power varies, reaching values up to 19 kW. These changes are caused by sudden surface variations of the illuminated area owing to the appearance of clusters of light balls that behave in a thermally self-regulated way. Apparent characteristics consistent with a solid are strongly suspected from the study of distributions of radiant power. Other anomalous characteristics include the capability to eject smaller light balls, some unidentified frequency shift in the VLF range, and possible deposition of metallic particles. A self-consistent definitive theory of the phenomenon ' s nature and origin in all its aspects cannot be constructed yet quantitatively, but some of the observations can be explained by an electrochemical model for the ball-lightning phenomenon. The importance is stressed of using more sophisticated instrumentation in the future.

Keywords: atmospheric anomaly, Hessdalen lights, plasma physics, ball lightning, astrophysical techniques, theory

FULL TEXT:

A Long-Term Scientific Survey of the Hessdalen Phenomenon

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