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A mechanism to explain the spectrum of Hessdalen Lights phenomenon


In this work, we present a model to explain the apparently contradictory spectrum observed in Hessdalen Lights (HL) phenomenon. According to our model, its nearly flat spectrum on the top with steep sides is due to the effect of optical thickness on the bremsstrahlung spectrum. At low frequencies self-absorption modifies the spectrum to follow the Rayleigh–Jeans part of the blackbody curve. This spectrum is typical of dense ionized gas. Additionally, spectrum produced in the thermal bremsstrahlung process is flat up to a cutoff frequency, ν cut, and falls off exponentially at higher frequencies. This sequence of events forms the typical spectrum of HL phenomenon when the atmosphere is clear, with no fog.

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We acknowledge financial support from CNPq and Faperj (Brazil).

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Correspondence to G. S. Paiva.

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Responsible editor: J. Fasullo.

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Paiva, G.S., Taft, C.A. A mechanism to explain the spectrum of Hessdalen Lights phenomenon. Meteorol Atmos Phys 117, 1–4 (2012).

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  • Ball Lightning
  • Bremsstrahlung Spectrum
  • Steep Side
  • Thermal Bremsstrahlung
  • Absolute Luminosity