If we think of the Nordic countries and the lights in the sky, the first thing that comes to mind is the northern lights. However, at a certain point Norway there are others much more mysterious: the Hessdalen Lights.
Located in OK which bears his name, is a light phenomenon that, as explained IFLSciencewas described by the inhabitants of the area at least since the 1930s.
The Hessdalen lights are highly variable, sometimes crossing the sky quickly, during few secondsand others remain stable during one hour. Sometimes they move in one direction and sometimes they follow a random path. But what they pretty much always agree on is its large size, described by locals as roughly the size of a car. Furthermore, they agree that they are in a very small section of just 12 kilometers long. What is not clear is what they are due to. Although there are some very interesting hypotheses.
mining dust combustion
The valley in which the lights of Hessdalen are formed has several mines, some in operation and others already closed. Therefore, one of the hypotheses points to the incomplete combustion of the dust suspended in the air by the mining activity.
There are especially large deposits of scandium and, in contact with oxygen, could have generated this effect. However, it has not been fully demonstrated.
We are all, in one way or another, surrounded by radon. In fact, he is responsible for much of the natural background radiation to which we are continually exposed. However, radon levels vary from region to region.
Norway is known to have one of the highest concentrations of radon highest in Europe. Also, this is especially high in the valley where the hessdalen lights. Therefore, in 2010 a study was published in which the hypothesis was launched that it was the decomposition of this gas in the atmosphere that was causing the luminous phenomenon.
The battery that charges the lights of Hessdalen
Undoubtedly, the most curious hypothesis about this phenomenon is the one that considers that the Hessdalen valley behaves like a giant battery. This one has a river that separates two plots of different compositions. On the one hand, it is rich in zinc and iron. And for the other, in copper. Therefore, we would have an anode and a cathoderespectively.
However, for electrons to circulate as in a battery, there must also be an electrolyte solution through which they can move. At first that part was missing, but it was finally found where it might have been. It is known that in the local mines there are also large amount of sulfurso maybe it was spilling sulfuric acid on the river that runs through the valley.
Anomalies were detected in the region’s magnetic field that correspond to those of a giant battery. And, perhaps, this pile could be facilitating the plasma formationwhich, in turn, would give rise to those characteristic lights in the sky.
The origin is unclear; but it is undoubtedly a curious phenomenon to behold. Up close, the Northern Lights look very conventional.