A recent youtube video, "Unexplained Earthquake Light Phenomenon Finally Captured on Camera", by Anton Petrov (who I have a lot of respect for as a science reporter) shows numerous videos of lights in the sky proceeding, during, and after earthquakes. This article includes many scientific reference links supporting the realism of the phenomena.

I am wondering if there are public satellite video archives where one, knowing time and place of an earthquake, could review archived videos to gain more information on this phenomena. It could be related to Triboluminescence wherein light is emitted when a material is severely wrenched. As a long shot,could lead to an earthquake detection system.

Might be an interesting exercise if such videos might be around. Anyone know of a source of videos taken over a protracted time covering earthviews from a satellite?

tom kosvic

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    $\begingroup$ This is an interesting question. If it could give early warning, even a few moments could potentially save lives. You'll need an awful lot of compute power for analysis. $\endgroup$
    – GdD
    Commented May 5, 2022 at 13:48
  • $\begingroup$ I haven’t seen the video, but it seems likely this is confirmation bias. Earthquakes happen underground. The sky is distinctly not underground. $\endgroup$
    – Topcode
    Commented May 6, 2022 at 23:02
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    $\begingroup$ @Topcode it does seem to be a real thing en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthquake_light, earthquakes are energetic events and some of that energy being released as light doesn't seem that far fetched $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 5 at 10:18
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    $\begingroup$ This might be a better starting place: earthscience.stackexchange.com $\endgroup$
    – Puffin
    Commented Mar 5 at 12:43
  • $\begingroup$ The excitement of any "Lights" during, before, or after an earthquake currently has no science behind the mechanism by which it would work. Piezoelectric effects have been largely dealt with, and so has other forms of plasmafication of atmosphere due to electrical discharge. Unfortunately as of now there is no significant evidence to support the existence of a linked phenomenon. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 5 at 19:30

1 Answer 1


This might need a dedicated proposal for a science package to be attached either to the ISS or a satellite in GEO.

It's becoming more common for big communications platforms in GEO to allow secondary science payloads to "hitch a ride" and share in electrical power and data streams.

There are plenty of seismic networks these days that trigger alerts on people's cell phones, these alerts could be sent to GEO as well. The science payload would be continuously imaging the major fault lines that are in darkness to a buffer, and when a heads-up about a major seismic event is received the relevant bits of the data stream can be saved and downloaded at a later time and speed as convenient.

btw the nay-saying comments about there not being any science should be ignored. Nobody expected to show up, nor pixies, ELVEs, sprites or blue jets or gamma rays coming from far, far above lightning strikes, and yet there they are, imaged from space!


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