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 5

Toward the South


Mystery 4

Dark Bands in the Sky


Mystery 3

Streaks in Orion



All mysteries



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               Mystery 6 : Mysterious Trailing Light


TWAN Solve a Mystery

What could be the identity of this trailing light in the sky above Yellowknife, northern Canada? In the sequence of photos a passing airplane, clouds, and rays of aurora are also captured in the sky. The mystery light appeared in the sky between 01:31 and 1:45 local summer time (GMT -6 hours) of Sep. 23, 2011. Provided by TWAN photographer Kwon O Chul see this sequence in a timelapse video that further shows what appeared in the sky.

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either could be compressed gas or looks like a other meteor has collided with another


A fuel or gas dump contrail from a rocket temporarily illuminated by the sun below the local horizon. Some banded airglow is also visible.

Moe Flanagan

Meteor. Looks like there is one streaking across the sky in the first pic.


comet!its absolutely wrong . i reckon satellates or space stations are the responsible for this trailing light


bad lighting in the backyard, illuminating a passing cloud of smoke.

Lou Behrman

Question... How much time elapsed during the video? I suspect what we're seeing is not in real time but compressed time. And if the video is covering the almost 15 minutes (15 minutes in 11 seconds of video) then we can rule out any kind of reentering debris (don't you think?). I like the thought that it might be some sort of fuel dump.



Beverley Dickson

Looks like a reflextion off of a flashlight, Like we did on the farm in Saskatchewan on a cold winter night.

Angel Gilboy

I don't think its a reflection thing from a possible car that passed by. Because it's behind the house per se. :) If its a simple reflection from the lens then why it looked like it fell behind the house shadow... hmmmmnnn.

Chris Wade

not sure what it is but if it were a reflection from a passing car or something on the lens why would it stop at the roof line?

Aditi prakash

i dont know much about this but i think that this might be a comet!!

Steven Christenson

I've got to agree that Lin seems to be correct. You can see a brightening in the window nearest the center of the frame at the bottom. It's also visible before the streak appears. It could be caused by something as simple as a small reflector that is directly hitting the lens with a thin beam of car headlight... The bright blue kind.


It's the crashing UARS (Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite).


If you look in the window of the house right before you see the light you will see a passing car or something like that. I think its just a simple reflection off of something. You don't always have to think so hard into everything... lol



Dana Eklund

I've seen nighttime rocket launches from Vandenberg AFB in California that look very much like this. Maybe a rocket launch?


Larry, Try this direct link to the video:

Wayne Mansfield

Could it be some sort of a dump from the passing airplane?


i'm guess is solar flare.

bimal raj khatri

might be this light source in space has periodic emission of light as the side lights in cars,bike.


Agree with something to do with reentry of Japanese rocket components.


iridium satelite !

Jim Hammond

The bright streak looks like it may be a contrail at very high altitude being illuminated like a noctilucent cloud. Maybe a rocket contrail as planes don't fly up where noctilucent clouds form. Maybe just a wierd noctilucent cloud.

Giselle Orosco Costa

Maybe these lights are effect of the solar winds (neutrinos particles that come in the earth atmosphere), call polar lights!! And the light in the sky could be also product of a these neutrinos or part of a meteor shower, call simply a meteor!!!

Larry Sessions

I cannot get the video to work and I am not sure of the sequence in this photo, nor the direction the camera is pointing (other than likely North). Could there have been a thunderstorm over the horizon? This looks somewhat like (and to be honest I have not seen them in person) what is called a "Blue Jet," a rare upper atmsopheric electric discharge associated with thunderstorms. These move, as I recall, from the top of a thunderstorm upwards, but again I cannot tell from the photograpic sequence. I have not heard of a similar phenomenon associated with the aurora, which of course are typically higher.

Antonio Costa

The pictures are out of sequence,but this is not a problem at all.The lights show the Elenin Comet fragments,reentring the earth's atmosphere,in septembre,23th,2011.An Air Canada aircraft crew,flying 37.000 feet hight reported the lights and confirmed the fragments,in fact hundreds of them.Nothing more than this.There is no puzzle to solve.Aircraft pilots often see things like that,and they are very common,when observed high above in the atmosphere.


I think it occured inside of EARTH itsnt of beyond the Earth! But if its of beyond its aerolite!


Hmmm considering we are approaching a meteor storm I would say its a early meteor ??? or ??


Japan launched a spy satellite about 3 hours earlier on that same day. Might this be part of the H-2A rocket? or some exhaust/debries from it after it released the satellite ? The satellite is now known as IGS 6A, in sun synchronous orbit that brings it near the north and south poles. The photos were shot looking north ( see the Big Dipper above ).

Monika Landy-Gyebnar

I think it might be some satellite releasing some fluid - most likely water - high in its orbit and that's lit by the Sun. Other explanation might be a rocket stage reentering the atmosphere also followed by some fluid. It is very spectacular!

Samuli Vuorinen

My guess is that the phenomena is an outgassing or a fuel dump from a rocket.

My bet would be on outgassing from the Japanese H-II rocket that launched the IGS O-4 satellite on a polar orbit just a few hours earlier. Since that was a 'secret' lauch less detail than usual is available about individual mission events.


This is not the comet Lovejoy although it's shape has some similarities with the form of the comet tail, but comets appear for several nights to weeks in the sky while this was a very transient phenomenon only for few minutes. Lovejoy was a comet appeared over the southern hemisphere, this image is made from the northern Canada!



This is the comet lovejoy.


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