What was that weird light spiral in the sky above Norway? Some sort of cheesy time-tunnel effect from a 1950 sci-fi movie? A promotion for the “V” miniseries on ABC? A once-in-forever refraction of the Northern Lights? Some crazy photoshop job?

It turns out there’s a simple explanation for it, which planetary geologist Emily Lakdawalla — my new go-to space consultant — provided today on my KTRS/St. Louis show.

Listen, then click here to subscribe to these podcasts via iTunes!

Here’s the effect captured on video…