Laser beams appeared in the sky over Hawaii: what is it

Bright green streaks pierced the night sky. During the study of frames with them, it turned out that the source of the mysterious rays was not on Earth.

A series of laser flashes lit up the night sky over a Hawaiian volcano. The event occurred at the end of January and did not last long – the rays appeared and disappeared literally in seconds. The video below confirms this.

According to Live Science, mysterious stripes were captured thanks to the Japanese Subaru-Asahi Star Camera. It is attached to the Subaru telescope located on the top of Mauna Kea. Later, experts studied them and finally solved the mystery of the appearance of the stripes.

The secret is revealed

The laser beams were emitted by a NASA spacecraft. We are talking about the ICESat-2 satellite. It monitors the Earth with sensors installed on board and monitors changes in the cryosphere. This is the name of one of the geographical shells of the planet, which is distinguished by the presence or possibility of the existence of ice.

The scientific mission of ICESat-2 is to measure the height of the ice sheet and the thickness of the sea ice. In this he is helped by an altimeter (altimeter), that is, a device that measures height.

Artistic illustration of the ICESat-2 satellite aiming lasers at the Earth’s surface. Photo: NASA

The altimeter aboard the satellite is known as ATLAS. It is called one of the most powerful in the world: it is able to fire 10,000 laser pulses per second and take measurements every 0.7 meters on the Earth’s surface.

The ethereal green lines seen in the image below are the result of laser pulses from the altimeter. Each of them consists of about 20 trillion photons. The system on board analyzes the readings taken with the help of lasers and accurately determines the coordinates and height of the satellite.

Screenshot from a YouTube video

Previously, another curiosity was noticed over Hawaii blue spiral. You can look at it here. NASA specialists are not involved in its appearance.

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