After capturing mysterious flashes of light reflected by Earth for over more than one year, scientists have finally seem to understand the cause of the reflection as they referred to the high altitude ice crystals as the reason behind the light flashes.
Scientists observed the mysterious flashes for the first time back in 2015 and since then observers around the world captured several hundred flashes till date.
While first time the phenomenon was reported more than two decades earlier, till date there wasn’t any explanation that covered all possible area. For example, back in 1993, DSCOVR project scientist Alexander Marshak referred to the water on Earth as the possible cause of the reflection but it didn’t explain the reflection produced by the land.
As a result, scientists recently put their focus on other areas. While researchers still believe that the reflections are still caused by water, they pointed towards other sources of water as the main cause of reflection.
Recently, the scientists said that the reflection is caused by ice particles situated high up in the atmosphere in a new paper. The scientists used satellite images which proved the speculation. For instance, given that the flashes were coming from sunlight reflected by the water particles, they would appear in certain angle between the Earth and the sun.
The flashes happened only at locations and times on Earth where the angles matched. If you were wondering, light was emitted from the Earth itself, you’d be disappointed to learn that the reflection happened only during times when there were clouds hovering over the area.
Featured Image: NASA