Solve a mystery

TWAN brings you photos with mysteries. Share your thoughts with us and our global viewers. While some of the photos display a real mystery of unidentified object or phenomena, some others are already solved by TWAN team and appear here for educational purposes. TWAN post the explanation or the final conclusion at the month’s end. This program is a collaboration with Unidentified Aerospace Phenomena (UAP) international project.




Solve a mystery




Mystery 1

Waves in the Sky



All mysteries



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               Mystery 2 : Mysterious Cloud


TWAN Solve a Mystery

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What is this fan shaped bright cloud among stars? Did TWAN photographer capture a UFO? In a clear evening of June 2007, Babak Tafreshi (along with another TWAN photographer Oshin Zakarian) witnessed a strange and luminous cloud in the night sky above Alborz Mountains of Iran. Although he has been under starry skies around the planet for hundreds of times, he had never experienced a similar phenomenon. The object started out patchy, shapeless and dim; it quickly brightened and formed a blue-tinted cone with a nose of magnitude -2 to -3. The cloud raced across the sky moving about 20 degrees per minute. In this image which shows the first moments of the cloud appearance from the top of Dizin peak (3400 m), the two bright stars in the middle are Castor and Pollux in Gemini, while dazzling planet Venus is on the upper left in conjunction with the Beehive or M44 star cluster in Cancer.

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(All answers will be reviewed by TWAN before it is posted)





zubair hassani

actuly its something like a meteaour

Seth Reinfelder

I dont know but my dad and I saw this same exact cloud tonight it was near Venus. We had no idea what it was.


A rocket lauch of course but witch one ? May be an Atlas ?


The mystery is solved! As several answers noted the above phenomena is a rocket fuel dump. On June 15th, sky watchers in the Middle East witnessed this cloud. On that day an Atlas V rocket launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida. Its payload was a pair of ocean surveillance satellites. Due to the rocket failure the satellites were deployed into a wrong orbit. When the rocket's Centaur upper stage vented excess fuel, the cloud shaped above the atmosphere and by reflecting sunlight it was visible in the early evening sky of the Middle East. The dumping of excess fuel is standard practice for Centaur-boosted launches. See here for more details:

Philippe Ailleris

Reminds me of 1979 Canary Islands pictures ( of ballistic missiles launched from US Navy submarines, under the North Atlantic waters. Observed by thousands astonished witnesses, the luminous phenomena were also investigated by the Spanish Air Force. It is only 20 years later, through declassified records of the US Navy about intercontinental ballistic missile launchings,that the mystery was solved...I'm afraid not a "true UFO"...

Frank Howie

Could this be a 'stray', perhaps damaged, meteorological balloon changing shape as it climbs to differing altitudes? I hope (?) however that it is proves to be something 'intriguing'!

Raoul Lannoy

Outgassing from a satellite or a last stage rocket?

Julio Vannini

That's the released waste from a space shuttle or the ISS expanding due the lack of atmospheric pressure. It also might be caused by a fuel dump from a rocket stage. Clear skies!

Mohsen Fouji

I have seen it before. This had been published in Iranian websites. It is the fuel leak of atlas 5 rocket.


The 'Bright Cloud' is not a cloud, it is reflection of light on a window.

Jerry Lodriguss

It's a rocket fuel dump. I've seen this before.

Tavi Greiner

A rocket fuel dump

Mohammad Ashrafy

As you should now it was the remenant fuel (or fuel and vaporized water) an of the rocket sattelite.And I can remember when we came to observe the new moon Crescent in Iran .We Saw it. Some one told us that 's the final step of placing sattelite and it was Done beacause they wanted to Completely seperate the rocket and the Sattelite.

Kiarash Mashoufi

this is Atlas 5 that I think explode in the sky . I can remember this shot that published in almost every astronomical persian websites.

John Needham

zodiacle light

Abdolhossein Hashemizadeh

It's not a UFO or even a mystery cloud,this is just the excess fuels which released from Atlas 5(at stage 2 which called Centaur). It caused over Iran at June 15th 2006.this is a usual phenomena but often it happens over oceans or or at day.I was the first person who report it and a few hours latter the photos was published.

David Malin

STS-117 was a Space Shuttle mission flown by Space Shuttle Atlantis and was in orbit for much of June 2007, returning to Earth on June 22. Before returning (or maybe earlier) it would have dumped waste water or fuel which would have made a visible plume. If your photograph was taken mid to late June but before the 22nd, that's probably what it was. Since Venus was in the sky, and was close to the star cluster M44 (visible in the picture) the photograph was made within and hour or two of sunset, so the vapour would have caught the sunlight and would have been moving across the sky at the same velocity as Atlantis. If you play with the levels in your original image file you may see the trail of Atlantis there.

rex vector

space junk reentry thru upper atmosphere where it was made visible and and the ionized particles or ice caught in a fast high altitude jet stream that moved it along

pegah shandiz

It can be a reflection from satellite

Mohammad Saber Ali Aghaei

That is fuel leak of stage2 of Atlas 5 rocket, {Friday, June 15 2007}


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