LtE in CMO #251

From  C Martin GASKELL

@. . . . . . Subject: High-quality images of flashes

 As part of my search for events similar to the flashes seen and video-taped by the US observers in the Florida keys in early June and similar events in previous years reported by observers in Japan and elsewhere I have found a couple of similar flashes in Galileo fly-by imaging of the earth in 1990.

 These flashes are VERY similar to the flashes on Mars.  Similarities include:

- Similar duration

- Similar brightness (brighter than typical clouds)

- A non-horizontal inclination of the reflectors.

- Apparent flickering and change in location on the surface

 I have been unable to locate any previous description of these Galileo flashes in the literature.  Because the earth, unlike Mars, has many white clouds all over it, the flashes cannot be noticed in individual images, but a couple of them are quite spectacular when images taken close together in time are compared. The time evolution seems to match accounts of the visual appearance of the June 2001 Mars flashes very well.

 For the earth, of course, we have excellent knowledge of the surface terrain and meteorological conditions at the times and locations of the flashes so the Galileo flashes can potentially provide a definitive understanding of the flash phenomenon.  No comparable flashes are seen in the Galileo lunar flyby imaging.

(11 September 2001 email)

  C Martin GASKELL (NE, USA)

 Back to the LtE Home Page

 Jump to the LtE Archives