Fwd = Scientific Explanations of the "Naga Fireballs"
- Forwarded by: fwestra@... (Frits Westra)
Original Date: Thu, 6 Mar 2003 17:23:30 +0100
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Scientific Explanations of the "Naga Fireballs"
[TATfireball03.jpg] While it is tempting to maintain the allure of the
many intriguing accounts that surround the mythical origins of the
"Naga Fireballs," scientific studies have provided ample evidence to
verify the authenticity of this natural phenomenon.
The appearance of the King of Naga fireballs involves the simultaneous
interplay of several forces of nature. These include the presence of
conditions that are conducive to the formation of Methane-Nitrogen gas
with 19% level of purity, the presence of aerobic and anaerobic
bacteria co-existing in a habitat at depths of 4.55 to 13.40 metres
with organic deposits forming on a bed of clay or sand, average
surrounding temperatures of higher than 26?C at 10.00, 13.00 and 16.00
hours, and a PH value between 6.4 to 7.8.
[TATfireball01.jpg] As the sun warms the surface of the clay or sand
bed, organic matter decomposes within 3 to 6 hours and begins to emit
methane gas. Pressure builds up and the gas rises to the surface of
the water. Bubbles of gas exceeding 15cc dissipate leaving behind a
12cc nucleas that floats upwards. The gas reacts with the oxygen in
the air and instantly ignites. 95% of the balls of light seen are
ruby-red with pinkish-red or crimson-burgundy hues. This explains why
these balls of light are of uniform colour, do not emit flares, smoke
or sound, and eventually dissolve into thin air without leaving a
The frequency and intensity of the fireballs also vary according to
several other factors such as the distance of the earth relative to
the sun and moon, the intensity of "B" and "C" ultraviolet rays, and a
extent of the depletion of the ozone layer in the stratosphere.
Tracking studies have indicated that there is much greater likelihood
of the phenomenon occurring in the months of March to May, and
September and October, on days when the earth gravitates closest to
the sun and moon, and the depletion of the ozone layer allows
ultraviolet rays to easily penetrate the stratosphere.
Based on these studies, the two absolute indicators for the formation
of King of Naga fireballs are the presence of Methane-Nitrogen gases
of 19% purity and a sufficient concentration of Ionized Atomic Oxygen
to trigger a reaction called "heterogenous combustion" that results in
the mystical glow of the fireballs.
Source: Tourism Authority of Thailand
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Tel 66-2-325-5555, 66-2-317-0420 and 66-2-316-5900 ; Fax 66-2-317-2071
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Updated on Oct 22, 2002
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