General Question

Berserker's avatar

How would the sky light up green?

Asked by Berserker (33470points) January 4th, 2017

Yesterday around nine pm I was taking a walk in the bike path that goes through town, and on four occasions in the span of about twenty minutes, the sky lit up green. It was exactly like when lightning strikes and everything lights up and it looks like daytime for a second.
Except in this case there was no lightning streak nor was there noise at all. And the color was green, almost neon like, everything was just…green for a second. The last two times were a lot more intense than the first two, and made the streetlights droop in power, than they went back to normal again. I saw someone looking out their window, so I’m guessing this affected power inside peoples’ homes as well.

So…what the hell was that, man? I know there is an explanation to this. Looking it up online last night, I saw that last night and tonight there is supposed to be meteor showers, so my first guess is that this is related to this. There was also an explanation about high winds and storms that cause like…disturbances, but before a storm develops. I don’t know. I’m no good with science. But this wasn’t a storm, as I’ve once seen a storm from really far away, and while you don’t hear the lightning much, you see it accentuate the clouds.

I know it was not a storm, although it has been snowing and raining here for the passed days. Can anyone help me identify this? Sorry for the long details.

Edit- One thing I forgot to mention is in the last two flashes, there seemed to be a source, as one part of the sky was much brighter than the rest, like as if it was an explosion.

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26 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

Could have been transformers overloading and exploding.

My first thought was an Aurora, but if it was overcast and youaren;t far noth, you would n’t see that.

It also sounds like St. Elmo’s Fire, but that is usually blue.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Close encounter of the second kind.

Nostromo's avatar

Meteor showers; invaders from Mars; but more likely it was the light of distant lightning as seen through sulfurous pollutants in the atmosphere. :-)

LuckyGuy's avatar

Was it a mild aurora borealis incident?

Wait, you said it lit up and then died out quickly. Distant fireworks?
Winter lightning? Thundersnow?

MrGrimm888's avatar

@zenvelo got it. I don’t know why, but when transformers blow they emit a giant green flash, sometimes with an orange lining. It can be seen for miles…

That,or the OP has an intracranial mass pressing on the back of their eyes. Hopefully it was a transformer.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I was thinking of what LuckyGuy said. How far north do you live?

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Were there storms nearby? Sounds like an electrical storm.

Dutchess_III's avatar

But where would the green have come from @ARE_you_kidding_me?

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

From cloud to cloud lightning. It can appear green especially if the clouds have lots of hailstones.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I didn’t think of that. Yeah, the sky gets green when a hail storm is coming.

Berserker's avatar

As for how far north I am; not very. I live in a town south of Montréal. Driving to New York takes less time than it does to Ontario.

@ARE_you_kidding_me There were no storms per se, but it’s been snowing and hailing this whole week. And last night we had pretty bad winds, took out the power for like 9000 people.

@LuckyGuy Certainly was not aurora borealis. I’ve seen that twice when my mom took me camping in Manitoba, they hang around and move slowly in the sky, this wasn’t like that at all.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

So it was really cloudy and snowy? If so that’s probably what it was, pretty cool.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I would think you could see them from there @Berserker. I mean, you know better than me, but I’ve heard that on rare occasions they can be seen way down south, like Georgia

Here is some info specific to yesterday

Berserker's avatar

Yeah, when I saw them with my mom in Manitoba, we weren’t all that up north either. (more than here though)

@ARE_you_kidding_me Yes, windy, snow and rain. Yesterday all the trees down by the bike path were covered in ice and they were drooping, making tunnels and the like. Was actually pretty cool.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It was probably lightening then. But really cool sounding!

Berserker's avatar

Weird lightning then. It seemed so close (doesn’t mean it was, of course) but with no sound and no streaks.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Thats what electrical storms are like, I have only seen a few but they’re cool as hell.

Dutchess_III's avatar

We get at least one a year here. Nothing like being on top of a hill (in a car) with lightening crashing all around you, striking really close, sometimes.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

The electrical storms I’m talking about don’t make sounds. It’s lighting the sky up all around you just like a thunderstorm only it’s silent.

Berserker's avatar

And these can occur in Winter? If so, I’m prepared to accept that, as lightning is the closest thing this seemed like.

@zenvelo What is Saint-Elmo’s fire?

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Yup, absolutely
Saint-elmo’s fire was a large build up of weather related charge that would discharge onto objects as they enter. Commonly on ships. Not what you saw.

zenvelo's avatar

@Berserker St Elmo’s fire is caused by a build up of plasma on a pointed object in an electrically charged atmosphere. It can happen on ships and airplanes, and also on antennas and lightning rods.

I was on a 727 that travelled through an electrical storm. The nose of the plane began to glow, and then discharged down the side of the plane. Happened about once every forty five seconds for about 15 minutes.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Were you scared @zenvelo?

zenvelo's avatar

@Dutchess_III I was 21 and thought it was neat. The older woman across the aisle was screaming. When we stopped for fuel in Chicago, she did not make the second part of the flight.

Scariest part was looking up the aisle to the front of the plan and seeing the front end twisting to the left while we in the back were flexing to the right.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Gosh. Sounds kind of…cool.

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