Purple light spotted over Cairns. PICTURE: KATIE WOOD
Purple light spotted over Cairns. PICTURE: KATIE WOOD

Mystery of purple light over Cairns solved

THE mystery behind a large purple light in the sky over Cairns has been solved by a keen astronomer.

While theories about aliens and unusual moon reflections bounced around the internet, a much simpler reason is behind the unusual hue.

 

Purple light spotted over Cairns. PICTURE: KATIE WOOD
Purple light spotted over Cairns. PICTURE: KATIE WOOD

 

Ian Maclean of Night Sky Secrets said he was certain the light was not coming from the sky, but rather from Earth.

"I am very confident that it's a reflected light source from the ground, because it's only there when there are clouds overhead," he explained.

"If you could see it without clouds, it would be a source from the sky."

Mr Maclean said he had several theories for where the light was coming from, including potentially being from new hotel Riley.

"It could be a high intensity LED uplight from the Esplanade. There are LED uplights on trees, and when the trees are trimmed we can see the same effect," he said.

But he said it was extremely unlikely to be a natural phenomenon.

"The only thing that could naturally be purple would be an aurora, but you don't see those north of Tasmania," he said.

"You've got to be a long way south to see one of those.

"Meteors can give you a blue-ish light, but that would move very fast, and this light isn't moving at all."

 

The owner of Night Sky Secrets Ian Maclean. PICTURE: ANNA ROGERS
The owner of Night Sky Secrets Ian Maclean. PICTURE: ANNA ROGERS


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