Space watchers seek answer for sky riddle from N.B.
Video shows green patches mysteriously appearing in night sky over Hopewell Rocks
The Astronomy Picture of the Day website is trying to solve a sky riddle from New Brunswick.
A video taken of the night sky at the Hopewell Rocks on Aug. 11 is featured today on the website, which is run by a scientist from NASA and a professor from Michigan Technological University.
At one point in the video, an unusual green glow appears to cover the sky. The website is turning to citizens for possible explanations as to what might be causing the phenomenon.
The time-lapse video ran from 9:30 p.m. on Aug. 11 until 3 a.m. the following morning, near the peak of the Perseid Meteor shower, and records several meteor and satellite streaks.
Park interpreter Kevin Snair, who took the video, thought his gear had failed him.
"Right towards the very end of it, just as the tide was coming in, we got this weird green glow above the rocks that just wasn't making sense to us. We couldn't make sense of it," Snair said.
That's why he sent the video to two scientists who work with NASA, he said.
"And now there's a giant discussion going on throughout the scientific community, trying to figure out what this green glow is."
But even the experts are stumped, including Robert Nemiroff, a professor of physics with the Michigan Technology University who heads the APOD program.
"I usually can identify what's going on, I didn't know what it was. So then I sent it to some of my collaborators, they didn't know what it was. So then we posted it to a discussion board of people who might know. No consensus," he said.
"One of the things APOD is good for it's not just for showing cool pictures, but it's also sort of a citizen science collective intelligence engine," said Nemiroff.
"I'm not sure whether we're going to reach consensus on this or not, I just don't know."
Some of the popular theories include light reflecting off the rising tide, known as air glow, or illumination from a yet to be identified source, he said.