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Петрозаводский феномен

Discussed in this article is about the celestial phenomenon that in the early Soviet reports has been called "the phenomenon of 20 September 1977". He later became known as "the Petrozavodsk phenomenon", "Petrozavodsk incident", the "Petrozavodsk miracle" and, of course, the most common - "the Petrozavodsk phenomenon".

On the territory of Russia and countries of the former Soviet Union in the "Petrozavodsk phenomenon" typically include developments in the North-West of Russia not only directly 20 September 1977, but in the period from September 1977 to February 1978.

The rest of the world "Petrozavodsk phenomenon" is called only a number of celestial events occurred on 20 September 1977. These events were registered not only in Petrozavodsk, but also in the entire continent, from Copenhagen and Helsinki on the West to Vladivostok in the East.

So, 20 September 1977 around 4:00 to 4:10am (Moscow time) in the Northern part of the sky over Petrozavodsk and its environs observed an object which left quite a long glowing strip, which it resembled Medusa.

Article in the newspaper "Pravda" (23 September 1977)

Most of the observations, as mentioned above, occurred between 4:00 and 4:20 Moscow time, or between 1:00 and 1:20 UTC (coordinated universal time), when the atmosphere appeared at least 48 unidentified objects (according to eyewitnesses).

First strange phenomenon in the sky was observed in Medvezhyegorsk, then in the Karelian village of Loukhi, and later over Kovdor and Palanga (Lithuania). Then, at about 3:00 to 3:25 a.m., an unidentified glowing object was observed by personnel of the Leningrad Maritime trade port. At 3:30 a flying object was discovered by the crew of the Soviet fishing vessel Primorsk, which departed from a coastal Harbor. The object seemed to be silently moved from the East and near Primorsk he abruptly changed direction to the North.

In Helsinki (Finland) shining object observed many residents, including taxi drivers, policemen and employees of the airport. An unknown object was also observed near Turku by two men: they spotted a spinning object similar to a lifebuoy, 10 m in diameter

Also in the Newspapers there have been reports about the observation of a luminous object over Copenhagen (Denmark) Finnish pilots of aircraft flying from Rome.

The color of the object different witnesses mentioned different: white, yellow, purple, and even bluish green, but all agreed that the sound was not.

Glowing objects have been observed in different parts of the Soviet Union, mainly in the North-West. It was reported "bright, luminous bodies surrounded by extended shells and emitting light rays or jets of quaint shapes".

A detailed report about an unidentified object was given by Soviet writer and philosopher Yuri Linnik. He observed the object on his dacha near Navevo about 3am through an Amateur telescope with an 80-fold increase. The object, surrounded by a dim, translucent ring, had a color "dark amethyst", intensely lit from the inside. Edge listopadovogo object had 16 spots (described by Linnik as "nozzles") which emitted pulsating red rays at an angle of 10-15 degrees. The angular size of the object was estimated at 20 minutes of arc. Object passed near the star Gamma Geminorum, Eta Geminorum, Capella, 172 Camelopardalis, 50 Cassiopeiae, Gamma Cephei, Psi Draconis, Draconis 16, Psi Herculis, Kappa Coronae Borealis and Delta Coronae Borealis. The object stopped near Gamma Cephei at an azimuth of 220°. Near Kappa Coronae Borealis, at an azimuth 340-350°, the object changed its direction to the 30-35° West longitude. He finally disappeared in the North on an azimuth of 340°. The flight duration was 15 minutes.

Unfortunately, to have survived only one copy of a photo of this phenomenon, and it's rather poor quality.

Thus according to the eyewitness descriptions was made many sketches for illustrations in various articles.

Also as illustrations to articles about the Petrozavodsk phenomenon often use the following picture:

The earliest published report of the Petrozavodsk phenomenon was written by a TASS correspondent Nikolai Milov, who described the unidentified object as a "huge star" that "flashed in the dark sky" at about 4:00 a.m. local time, "impulsively sending sunbeams upon the Earth." The report was published in the main Soviet press ("Pravda", "Izvestia", "rural life" and "socialist industry").

Preliminary data analysis at the Academy of Sciences of the USSR in 1977, showed that eyewitness accounts are complementary. It turned out that the "star", having an initial brightness that is comparable to Venus, spread over Petrozavodsk in the form of a jellyfish, "showering the city with a multitude of very fine rays which created the image of a flood of rain, after some time the luminescent rays ceased", "the jellyfish turned into a bright semicircle" and resumed its movement towards Onega lake.

In the journal "technology and science" (No. 9, 1978, pp. 34-35) was published the main hypothesis of the doctor of chemical Sciences M. Dmitriev, who studied the nature of this phenomenon:

At about 4 a.m. on 20 September 1977 in the center of Petrozavodsk on the dark sky flared huge "star", impulsive sent to earth the shafts of light. Illuminated area moved to the city, as if hovering over him and showering the area with many radial jets created an impression of pouring rain. Then "star" has moved in the direction of lake Onega and gradually dissipated. Intense glow lasted more than 20 min. At this time, the air smelled sharply of ozone.

How to explain the Petrozavodsk phenomenon? I do not do a flying saucer hanging over the city? A hastily believe it. But that night happened chemiluminescent airglow is a phenomenon well known to science. It is caused by chemical reactions constantly present in the air molecules of ozone, nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons, atoms and ions of oxygen and nitrogen and also some other particles.

Usually the intensity of the glow is negligible and visually, it is invisible. But sometimes there is a sharp increase of the concentrations of the mentioned particles, and it is accompanied by the emission of relatively bright light, more noticeable at night.

For the occurrence of phenomena of type Petrozavodsk phenomenon (and they are not uncommon) requires a combination of certain conditions. One of them is a breakthrough in the troposphere of stratospheric ozone. Its concentration in the atmospheric surface layer increases while 100 times or more and maintained at a high level sometimes for several hours.

Another condition is the enlargement of the nitrogen-containing photochemical aerosols, formed in the stratosphere under the influence of the Sun and cosmic rays. As a result, the aerosols fall from the stratosphere down into the troposphere. With decreasing altitude under the action of heat is accelerated melting and chemiluminescense substances from the solid phase to the gas. This quickly raises the concentration of reactants, and, accordingly, the speed of their chemical interaction. It is then more likely to experience an intense glow.

When processing the results of observations of the Petrozavodsk phenomenon was able to determine that the radiation intensity in the main area reached 15 cal/cm2-min. Such a value can give achievable concentration chemiluminescense substances, namely 50 mg/m3 of ozone and 25 mg/m3 of nitrogen oxides.

In different parts of the lighted area of the predominant particles were different, their concentrations also differed significantly. This was the cause of the sheaves of light and color radiation of the jets. A bright impulsive sheaves were flashes of light emanating from the reaction zone when the explosions occurred there fireballs. Radiation jets represent streams chemiluminescense substances emanating from the Central zone. Depending on the reacting particles of light in such cases may have a wavelength of 430 nm (Indigo-blue color of ultramarine), 500 nm (blue color of Prussian blue), 600 nm (orange red).

The movement of air masses in the luminous region and the vertical flow created a sort of gully, with a predominance of nitrogen dioxide and oxygen atoms, which led to a bright red glow at its center. Relatively uniform content of substances around the gullies led to the combination of radiation with different wavelengths, and the peripherals looked white.

"Star" left a not so glowing trail caused by the presence of the same substances as that of the main region. The scattering of the track resulted in a sharp smell of ozone. As scattering and consumption of the reacting substances, the intensity of radiation of the illumination gradually decreased.

However, directly above the city, the intensity of chemiluminescence increased slightly. The reason for this was, apparently, increasing the concentration of nitrogen oxides at the expense of local air pollution. This caused a hanging luminous region just above the town.

So certain conclusions can be drawn because the mechanism of the phenomenon studied well, there is an elaborate theory that allows to do calculations. To a large extent this is the merit of the laboratory of physico-chemical and radiological studies of the Institute of General and communal hygiene, Academy of medical Sciences of the USSR.

By the way, the effect of chemiluminescence is used in many devices. So, if the jet is taken for the sample air to enter the ozone, the intensity of the illumination it is possible to determine the atmospheric contents of the main pollutants of nitrogen oxides and nitrogen dioxide. If the air stream to enter the ethylene, the illumination will establish the presence of photochemical smog. The same principle is based the action of the portable device weighing less than 1 kg for the measurement of ozone concentration. In addition, the spectrum and intensity of the weak emission of polluted air can be measured by the degree of toxicity and to determine the composition of selected pollutants. The same effect is used to assess the quality of air-conditioning systems.

Paying attention of readers interested in the nature of the Petrozavodsk phenomenon on this prosaic but very important side of things, I want to emphasize that the knowledge of the laws of chemiluminescence and the ability to apply based on these devices would be of much more value than a baseless fantasy on the theme of space aliens.


Six pictures showing stages of development of the Petrozavodsk phenomenon.

  • a) Broke out the "star" consisted of the two luminous areas - bright white Central part 1 and the less bright bluish shell 2, inside which it was possible to distinguish a structure in the form of thin luminous filaments. From the Central part sporadically burst of multi-colored beams of light 3, like a spotlight.
  • b) "Star" is sent to Petrozavodsk, the radiation of her pulsing. The main part 1 has shifted somewhat from the center of the entire luminous region and acquired an irregular shape. Sector "star" began to dissolve into petals 4, which gradually begin to kind of overlap each other. Their color is mainly blue shades are somewhat different from each other. Well marked trail 5, also glowing. The Central portion becomes bright yellow. From "stars" continue to break the shafts of light 3.
  • C) on Reaching the city, "star" transformirovalsya in "Medusa". During movement of the sheath in front of the Central part 1 disappears. The petals are transformed into radial jet 6. The speed of the "Medusa" is dramatically reduced until it stops completely. The trail gradually dissipated, and in time disappears.
  • g) Base beam 6 jets moved to the Central part so that their other ends are rotated 90°. As a result, they fall perpendicular to the surface of the earth, their number is growing, creating the illusion of heavy rain. The luminescence intensity sharply increases, the whole "star" like more and more erupted.
  • d) the Radial streams gradually dry up and dissipate. The color of the Central luminous zone 1 gets a greenish tint. Around her, again there shell - bright blue 7 and blue 8, they formed a glowing zone 9. "Medusa" is converted into a huge hemisphere, with its lower edge had bright red eyes 10. Central zone 1 is suddenly quenched. It seemed that she even flew out and quickly retreated. The object resumed its movement towards Onega lake, again there is a faint bluish line 5.
  • e) the object's Motion is slowed down again, after which the base 11 begins to acquire a reddish hue. In the hemisphere formed by the holes 12, it is starting to appear a small dark area 13. Their number increases and size increases. From hemispheres begin to separate a larger but less bright zones 14. The object gradually dissipated, the gully fades away, though still within a few minutes of well-marked pulsating glare at the illuminated edges of clouds.

According to descriptions of eyewitnesses, the phenomenon is very similar to the observed in the area of Baikonur launches of space rockets. According to the main version of events, it is believed that in 1977 over Petrozavodsk (or a few dozen kilometers away, but at high altitude) can fly the rocket with military satellite "Cosmos-955", launched it at 4:00 from the Plesetsk cosmodrome. In favor of this version says also that the phenomenon was observed in the pre-dawn hours, when at high altitudes the sun was already up and was able to light the exhaust jet of the rocket, which gives the object the appearance of Medusa.

TASS about the launch of the spacecraft "Cosmos-955"

These data are not only similar objects in the sky that appeared later, but the official publications. For example, in the magazine "North industrial" № 2, 2013 published an article "Optical phenomena in the atmosphere during launch and maneuvers of rocket and space technology", where information was illustrated with a sequence of photographs obtained in Arkhangelsk, Loparskaya and sodankylä with cameras full of the sky after a missile launch of an artificial Earth satellite "Cosmos-955" from the Plesetsk cosmodrome.

At 04:04-04:08 Moscow time, the glow of exhaust products of a rocket seen by numerous observers in Petrozavodsk, Karelia, and even in Leningrad region

In the article it was stated that the pictures relate to the effect of liquid rocket engines:

Figure 1 shows pictures of the entire sky, taken after 1 minute (time goes from top to bottom) obtained in the observatories Arkhangelsk (64,54 N, 40,54 E), Loparskaya (68,63 N 33,20 E) and sodankylä (67,75 N , 27.00 E). It's a five minute event illustrates the rapid development of artificial luminous cloud that looks like a jellyfish. Camera all-sky Observatory in Arkhangelsk (left column in Fig. 2) even managed to take the luminosity of the torch in the second frame in 01.04 UTC time (UT) or 04.04 Moscow time (MSK), the Archangel and its rapid development in the next interval. In Arkhangelsk the all-sky camera at that time there was no activity of the Aurora. The estimated height of the luminous cloud was a little more than 200 km from the Camera all-sky Observatory Loparskaya (Central column in Fig. 2) shows a bright emission region with a sharp boundary in the South-Eastern part of the sky at 04.05 ET (01.05 UT) and the Western region is to the East of Zenith in 04. 07 GMT.

Simultaneous activity of the Aurora is clearly visible in the first and second frames, where two auroral arcs were stretched out from East to West near the local Zenith. The second frame (similarly to the second frame Loparskaya) shows a bright spot of glow near the Eastern edge of the image. The next frames show the development of clouds in the form of "Medusa", accompanied by a radiant structure of an expanding glowing cloud (04.08 GMT). It should be noted that aurorae and luminous cloud of products of combustion evolved independently from each other and were clearly visible to ground observers in the twilight. The peculiarity of this case was such a high value of brightness due to scattering of sunlight on emitted products of combustion that luminous cloud could be seen even from Leningrad (St. Petersburg) and Estonia at a distance of about 1000 km and more. The size of this luminous cloud was ~ 100-1000 km at heights of 100-700 km, respectively.

The appearance of the object is repeatedly compared with the traces of a missile launch (including today), finding obvious similarities. For example, the identification of Soviet UFO as a spy satellite "Cosmos-955" was made by James E. Oberg, an expert on the cosmos from Houston, which is a widely known authority on the Russian space program and researcher of UFO reports. This was stated in the article "Soviet UFO due to secret launch" (Science News, Vol. 112, October 8, 1977) (translation of Mikhail Gershtein):

"As soon as I read the newspaper reports, I thought about the rocket launch, said Oberg. - On the phone, I called a friend who registers Russian satellites. It turned out that that morning was launched two satellites".

Calculations carried out by the space flight Center NASA them. Goddard in Greenbelt, giving Oberg a sufficient basis to determine that the missile was launched a few minutes before 4 a.m. local time. Message from Petrozavodsk, which is located about 200 miles South-West of Plesetsk, indicate the time 4 hours in the morning. The satellite was launched in the North-East direction, therefore, says he, shocked eyewitnesses had an amazing opportunity to observe directly in the direction of the nozzles spouting a fiery plume.

"Identification, - he added, - held with absolute certainty".

At night, the space launch in the U.S. is often taken for a UFO, because in the dark the illumination of the gases can take strange forms.

Oberg said it was only the fourth time the launch was made from Plesetsk in such conditions, the azimuth, altitude, particularly the booster and the darkness has created such an impressive picture. In one case, when you run the weather satellite "meteor-2" in October 1969, received dozens of reports from Finland and Sweden. Society of Amateur astronomers from Helsinki generalized messages and later published the drawings and description of this phenomenon. Vivid descriptions of the last appearance almost identical to the reports from Finland on the launch of "Meteor-2" 8 years ago.

The mysterious "tentacle" or "streams of light," said Oberg, in fact, was a separate plumes emanating from four parallel nozzles of the rocket when it was still tied to the main stage. "Films depicting the launches of Soviet missiles, and show the effect of "streams of light" very clear".

Despite the above data, the origin of the object for some reason is still controversial. Many still attribute to the UFO phenomenon and I believe unexplained.

For example, a researcher Oleg Pruss, citing his 18 years experience at Kapustin Yar, says:

"I know firsthand that the sky during a rocket launch has a spectacular view but over Petrozavodsk was something completely different."

However, as noted above, the countries of the former Soviet Union to the phenomenon why-that considers not only the events of 20 September 1977, but a series of unexplained till the end of incidents (such as the appearance of holes in the glass), which occurred in the period from September 1977 to February 1978 in the North-West of Russia.

Translated by «Yandex.Translator»

Это интересно 

On the territory of Russia and in the countries of the former USSR, the "Petrozavodsk phenomenon" usually includes events that occurred in the north-west of Russia not only directly on September 20, 1977, but also in the period from September 1977 to February 1978.

The "Petrozavodsk phenomenon" is called only a series of celestial events that occurred on September 20, 1977 from about 4:00 to 4:10 am (Moscow time):  in the northern part of the sky over Petrozavodsk and its environs, an object was observed, from which fairly long luminous stripes radiated, which made it resemble a jellyfish. It is most likely that this is a rocket with a military satellite "Cosmos-955", launched exactly at 4:00 from the Plesetsk cosmodrome.

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