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This section contains articles on phenomena or versions that may be interesting or useful to researchers of the unexplained facts in one way or another.

Dancing Ray, or Crown flash

Crown flash is a phenomenon that represents a column of light located in the clouds and performing movements similar to a dance. Often during this phenomenon, the observer hears clicks, pops and similar sounds.

This phenomenon was first mentioned in the journal Nature in 1971 in the article "Meteorological Phenomenon called Crown Flash" by Graves, Maurice E.; Gall, John C.; Vonnegut, Bernard.

The phenomenon itself is quite rare and poorly documented. Only in recent years, due to the massive distribution of video and photographic equipment, recordings of it began to appear more often (for example, [5, 8] contains videos recorded since 2011).

Despite this, the publication ORIENTATION OF ICE CRYSTALS IN THE ELECTRIC FIELD OF A THUNDERSTORM Vonnegut B, WEATHER v20, No.10, pp310-312 (1965) is interesting, where the following mention can be found:

An interesting and unusual optical phenomenon associated with a thundercloud was reported and discussed by Hale (1950), Ludlam (1950) and Lacey (1950). Early in the afternoon, it was noticed that a thundercloud, observed from the north, formed "a bright ribbon, obviously projecting to the north." This ray repeatedly slowly increased, and then suddenly disappeared, apparently simultaneously with the lightning discharge.

Indeed, there is some similarity with the description of Crown flash. There is also an explanation and description of laboratory experiments:

If the supercooled cloud in the Schaefer's refrigerator is filled with dry ice or silver iodide and illuminated with a beam of light, you will notice that the ice crystals reflect light like small mirrors. 

As the plates of ice crystals slowly fall, they all orient their main axes in a vertical direction, so that light is reflected from their horizontal surfaces, and the cloud appears quite bright in the area where the light is reflected to the observer. This phenomenon is apparently identical to the solar column and solar reflections sometimes observed in the atmosphere (Koons and Gunn, 1951).

If you conduct an experiment to create a strong electric field in a cloud of ice crystals by introducing an electrically charged object such as an ebony rod, you will notice that the position in which the cloud appears bright due to reflections from the ice Crystals can be forced to change and move by changing the position of the electrified object.

The electric field appears to cause this effect because it induces electric dipoles in ice crystals, causing forces that tilt them.

Visually, this phenomenon really resembles a reflected "sunbeam" from a mirror hidden in the clouds.

The main hypothesis explaining the phenomenon is as follows:

This rare atmospheric phenomenon is an ordinary halo, which is affected by an electromagnetic field. Ice crystals in the air reflect and refract sunlight, forming a halo (false sun).

The electro-magnetic field in the cloud can change the orientation of these crystals in space, thereby changing the shape of the "false sun"/light column.

It is assumed that such changes occur, for example, during thunderstorms inside a cloud, after which the shape of the light column can return to its initial position as a result of the restoration of the original electromagnetic field and the orientation of the crystals.

As in the case of false suns, the observer must occupy a certain position in space to see the effect of the Crown Flash.


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