'Sky Halo' Spotted Over Hawaii

Missile launch stumped astronomers
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 30, 2011 4:21 AM CDT

A strange expanding halo of light captured by a webcam outside an observatory in Hawaii left puzzled astronomers turning to "Citizen Science" for help. Users of the Starship Asterisk determined that a Minuteman III missile had been launched from California the same night and was almost certainly responsible for the phenomenon, Discover reports. The "halo" effect was apparently caused by a charge released minutes after take-off when the missile was above most of the Earth's atmosphere. (Read more astronomer stories.)

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