On June 16th a very unusual event occurred in the southern Urals over the cities of Chelyabinsk and Miass. The Aurora borealis appeared are common over northern Russia during the days of vernal and autumnal equinox. Equinoxes occur when the axis of rotation of the earth (i.e. the line from the N to S poles) is exactly parallel to the direction of motion of the earth around the sun. This happens on just two days of the year, the spring and autumn equinoxes. This always occurs around the 20th of March and 22nd of September, which is why the event wasn’t expected. But in general the Aurora borealis are seen in the northern latitudes which another thousand kilometers further north which adds to the oddity of it all.
The majority of this night-time spectacle occurred over the city of Miass, a town of approximately 150,000 people. This unusual light phenomenon was a result of noctilucent clouds which are rare themselves. Those who watched this event said that bright streaks white and red danced against background of dark clouds. Some witnesses mentioned they saw red and green streaks below the clouds.
A similar event occurred over Chelyabinsk but disappeared shortly after midnight. Chelyabinsk was the center of world attention, in February, when a meteorite exploded over the city. The shock wave caused severe damage in the city and wounded more than 1,500 people.
One observer in Miass was able to capture it on video. This is what the recorder wrote on the YouTube video info: “This video was shot by me personally from the balcony of my apartment on 16.06.2013 at around 2:00 in the city of Miass (100 km from Chelyabinsk). Video lighten. In life, the sky was almost black, the horizon line was not visible. The spot was very bright against the black sky. Spot color bright blue, sometimes blue with white stripes.”
Another eye witness that spoke with the website “The First Regional” commentator Alex Kazantsev said – We were with friends at home on Lenin Avenue, when they saw a light in the sky. At first we thought it might be a new meteorite flying across the sky or someone was using spotlights shining them up on the clouds. But the colored strip remained quiet,we were sure, it was Northern lights we were seeing. He also stated that as far as he could remember, this has never occurred in Chelyabinsk.