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Old Comments:

2008-07-03 18:38:10
That is indeed a contrail from a missile fired from White Sands Missile Range that was destroyed after it went awry. I know, I live only miles from WSMR in New Mexico and I remember well when this incident occurred a few years ago. That very photo was ran on the front page of our local newspaper in Las Cruces. The contrail could be seen all the way to the Phoenix area, a six hour drive to the west.
2008-06-27 06:49:40
i live in southern california where i saw this a lot growing up. we call it the TWILIGHT EFFECT. definitely a missle.
2008-03-20 07:59:03
I am just shocked that nat geo got it wrong
2008-03-18 09:56:04
I can tell you this I live in Mesa Arizona and have seen 3 of these. The exhaust from the white sands missle is not pure water, it is a mixture of different chemicals from the burn process, ofmg is right. National geographic obviously got it wrong. Tell you what go to www.wsmr.army.mil and ask them yourself.
2008-03-18 07:10:55
No, you're still wrong. First of all, go look up the definition of a "chemtrail". Regular contrails (all of which have small amounts of fuel and stuff) are NOT chemtrails. Secondly, you said "you can see the chemicals reflecting the sunlight in rainbowlike colours ...also called chembow". That's just plain wrong, and the APOD caption supports what I said earlier: "The above image also captured part of the plume reflecting sunlight as a rainbow or a colorful iridescent cloud.". The rainbow colors have nothing to do with any chemicals found in the water droplets, the water droplets themselves are what cause the color spectrum- like they do with rainbows.
2008-03-18 04:51:04
haha i dont waste my time anymore with your stupid arguments mr scientist... cya
2008-03-18 04:49:45
"..Fuel particles and water droplets expelled from the rocket swirled in the winds of the upper atmosphere, creating an expanding helix... " so i was right ....a contrail consist of water vapour and fuel is chemical ...
2008-03-18 00:58:58
Yeah, and where are you getting your information from? I guess you're a climatologist and a statistician eh? Riight. YOU'RE the one getting your information from the media. Probably idiotic propaganda movies like "the great global warming swindle" and other such nonsense in the MEDIA. Your naive and ridiculous argument about the climate not being constant makes it obvious. I don't get any of my information from the media, I get it straight from scientists themselves. REAL scientists, not some stupid bloggers, politicians, or propaganda films.
2008-03-18 00:49:18
go on sheep believe everything the media says, repeat it over and over again so that exactly what they want ... think for yourself man, the climate isnt constant, we just call it unnormal because it doesnt fit into our statistics ...thats so dumb
2008-03-17 23:00:42
National Geographic never announced anything like that.
2008-03-17 22:58:34
Right. Keep repeating it and maybe it'll become true. Well, apparently many people like you DO believe something just because it is repeated to them often enough. If you actually were to look at the science, like those people who spend their entire lives doing- called scientists- do, you'd realize that the joke is global warming deniers.
2008-03-17 22:54:20
It IS a contrail, and the same effect that causes rainbows is causing the rainbow pattern in this picture. Has absolutely nothing to do with the chemicals in it.
2008-03-17 19:34:42
global warming is a joke all statistics about dieing polar bears are bu**s**t
2008-03-17 17:40:10
I lost all trust to national geographic since they announced that global warming is killing polar bears in Finland. There is NO polar bears even near Finland.
2008-03-17 17:22:55
oh no ..certainly no CONtrail ... you can see the chemicals reflecting the sunlight in rainbowlike colours ...also called chembow .. some people are so narrow minded ...
2008-03-17 14:54:11
No,that would be a contrail from an interceptor launch from White Sands Missile Range east of Arizona in New Mexico.
2008-03-17 14:25:01
Apparently the National Geographic Society disagrees with you all, if the caption is unchanged from the original publication of this picture, anyway.
2008-03-17 08:14:07
The aurora borealis has been seen as far south in the US as Texas (I know, I've seen it, once, in 38 years). Rare, but it does happen. That, however, is NO borealis.
2008-03-17 07:28:09
Nope. They HAVE been seen as close to the equator as France though. However, that only happens during the most intense solar storms...
2008-03-17 06:39:15
Indeed. A contrail from a Missile / rocket launch I believe. You can't see Aurora Borealis so far away of the poles or can you?
2008-03-17 05:15:17
That is no Aurora. That's a contrail