I was viewing Google Street View and saw an oddly shaped line of light coming from the clouds.

How did this happen?

It probably couldn't be lightning as it appeared over multiple images and is too thick. It also ends in a large flash of light.

Google Street View

Use this link to see what I'm talking about.

By the way, this is nearby Area 51 (the camera is looking in the direction of Area 51).

  • $\begingroup$ Google Street view is made up of many still shots quickly mosaiced together, and so you shouldn't be surprised to find all sorts of strange artifacts of the assembly process, especially in the sky, which is away from the objects at "street view" the software is designed to show. $\endgroup$
    – Spencer
    Dec 10, 2016 at 12:02
  • $\begingroup$ This is due to an imaging artefact and not an actual atmospheric phenomenon. The proximity of Area 51 is totally irrelevant. Closing as off-topic. $\endgroup$
    – gerrit
    Mar 31, 2017 at 11:09


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