SOLVED: University of Cambridge academic weighs in to Sutton weather mystery

PUBLISHED: 12:45 29 July 2012

The view from Don's house in Sutton looking out towards Aldreth

The view from Don's house in Sutton looking out towards Aldreth


AFTER almost two weeks of speculation, theorising and down-right head-scratching the verdict over the mystery red streak over Sutton has finally been solved.

Sutton resident Don Beards took the photo shortly before 9pm back in July after spotting a vivid red streak shooting across the sky behind his house.

Don, who lives in The Southerns, said: “I went upstairs to the bedroom and looked out of the window towards Aldreth and saw what I thought was a comet, so I decided to snap it as quickly as I could.

“It is really hard to say what it is but it was a really deep red colour and really stood out against the clouds.”

He said the streak remained there for more than an hour before fading away.

Since we published the story, we have received dozens of phone calls from villagers in Sutton, Haddenham and the surrounding area, with a range of possible explanations offered, including an example of an aurora and even a meteor.

After contacting the department of applied mathematics and theoretical physics at the University of Cambridge, however, the mystery was finally solved.

Dr Helen Mason confirmed that the odd phenomenon was in fact a rainbow at sunset.

Dr Mason said although “quite spectacular” the streak was not one of a recent spate of aurorae that have been spotted across East Anglia, a sight more normally reserved for the far north of Scotland.

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