What In The Hell Caused This Enormous Flash Over Russia?

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An ominous dash-cam video has captured an extraordinarily bright orange flash in Russia's Sverdlovsk region in the Urals. Though the event was witnessed by many onlookers, there's still no explanation for what appears to be a rather massive blast.

The event happened this past Friday, November 14th.


The video evidence:

According to E1.ru, officials said the military was behind the flash, as they might have had a scheduled explosive ordnance procedure. But no blast was heard, and the military is denying it had anything to do with it.


Other explanations would suggest an otherworldly source. As RT reports:

A fireball caused by an asteroid's collision with the Earth's atmosphere is among other presumed reasons for the burning sky.

"Looks like a falling bolide, which invaded us. Because of the low cloud cover it ceased to exist above the clouds and lit up the whole sky," a member of the meteorites committee of the Russian Academy of Sciences Viktor Grokhovsky told 66.ru.

Another [astronomer], Vadim Krushinsky, doubted his colleague's theory, saying the color of the flash does not support the asteroid speculation. The shade of light depends on the body's temperature, and flashes caused by bolides are usually whiter, he explained to Ekburg.tv. The observatory engineer suggested his own theory, saying a space rocket launch might have been the cause.

A path of launches from the Plesetsk cosmodrome lies above the area, Krushinsky said. But, according to Russian Federal Space Agency's website, the latest launch from the Plesetsk cosmodrome happened on October 29, with the next one planned for November 24.


There are others who doubt the bolide theory. As noted in MSNBC:

A meteor-watching blog quotes Marco Langbroek of the Dutch Meteor Society: "I doubt this one is a meteor." He points out that the onlookers already seemed to be aware of a red glow in the sky before the flare-up — and that when the light does appear, it's stationary. "To me, it looks like a fire or series of small explosions and subsequent large explosion or flash fire reflecting on a cloud deck," he concluded.

A local news site suggests there's an old chemical plant outside the nearby town of Rezh, the explosion of which would be consistent with this phenomenon, and one local on the forum of Astronomy.ru wrote there were also reports of the military setting off ammunition.


More at RT and MSNBC.