South Shore, Lake Ontario
It was just past 9 pm on Saturday night and I had returned from a family gathering/joint birthday celebration in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The weather had warmed up considerably, and the temperature was registering just on 18C. I decided to take a walk down to the beach, armed only with my binoculars.
I reached the beach and looked way west toward Lakeview Generating Station (Port Credit.) I was amazed to see a line of enormous golden balls of light coming down towards the horizon. I have been watching the lake for nearly five years now, and recall the balls of light rarely as large as these appeared to be.
I watched through binoculars for a few minutes, then decided to take a chance and run back to the house and grab some camera equipment plus the diffraction grating, so that I could make an attempt to get some frames showing the spectra of these "lights."
Throughout the time I was shooting video and taking stills with the Pentax on the telescope, there were aircraft evident coming into their final approach for Pearson International Airport. The aircraft were travelling east to west (right to left) from my point of view. The distance between my observation point and the centre of the runways at Pearson International Airport is 61.5 kms.
Meanwhile, these large light balls were steadily coming down, one after the other, slightly east of where the aircraft seemed to be coming in to land. I caught an aircraft on video tape in the latter part of my beach watch, but it was so faint as to barely show up. The light balls, in contrast, were amazingly bright, and moved very slowly down towards the horizon, giving me ample time to record them.
The wind was getting stronger by the minute, and it was difficult to hold on to the two fairly lightweight tripods under such conditions. Then the sand started to be blown around, so that, every time I wanted to make a lens change, or put the grating on another camera or 'scope, I had to run back up the beach to base camp, and this was very time-consuming! I was running, as, after all, each light ball could be the last of the evening!
I set up the Sony digital video camera and let that roll on its own for most of the time. Meanwhile, I was interchanging lenses and telescopes so as to optimise the spectra. I was finding great difficulty even locating the horizon through the grating attached to the Televue Pronto telescope with the Pentax MZ-7 attached. The film used was Fujicolor 1600. Very little light actually comes through this tiny grating which measures only 1.25" in diameter.
Here is one of the first pictures of the anomalous light balls, commonly referred to as "orbs." The orbs are coming down to the actual horizon (lower part of the picture) but the upper part of the picture shows the spectra produced by the orbs and seen through the grating. Note that the horizon lights have now been broken down into a green/red fuzz of light.