Not Aliens: Bright Blue Glow Lights New York Night Sky (Photos)

After a large boom followed by several smaller ones, a spooky blue light lit up the New York night sky from the Astoria neighborhood of Queens causing a flurry of speculation on social media. Below are a few images and some video of this strange event caused by a sustained electrical arc flash at a Consolidated Edison power substation. It was interesting to see this from so many different perspectives last night as people shared their videos on social media.

The power station is not far from LaGuardia airport which was temporarily closed by the power outage.

An explosion at an electrical substation in Astoria, New York City, illuminated the skyline with a bright blue light and cut off power to LaGuardia airport, causing flights to be diverted or delayed.

The glow could be seen from Manhattan shortly after 9 p.m. EST Thursday following a “brief electrical fire” at the facility in the Northern Queens neighborhood, said Bob McGee, a spokesman for utility Consolidated Edison Inc.

via Syra

Con Edison says a couple of transformers tripped offline at the substation at 20th Avenue and 32nd Street, sparking a fire.

The explosion lit the sky so brightly that it briefly appeared to be daytime in neighborhoods like Astoria and Woodside, residents reported. Smoke arose from the source of the blue light, visible from as far as Manhattan. …

“The electrical fault on the 138,000 volt equipment caused a sustained electrical arc flash that was visible across a wide area,” he added early Friday in a statement. “The affected equipment was isolated to a single section within the substation.”

NYPD officials on scene said it appeared to simply be equipment malfunction, and there was no sign of any sort of nefarious interference. There was no visible damage inside the Con Edison plant. 

Meanwhile, people flooded the streets in Queens and swarmed social media to try to figure out the source of the mysterious blue-green glow in the sky.  

“I was thinking this is the end of the world, like something’s gonna happen,” said Tarek Kherifi in Astoria. 

Via nbcnewyork

New Yorkers were shocked and amazed by an eerie blue light that took over the night sky in the Astoria neighborhood of Queens on Thursday night. Officials say an electrical fire at a Con Edison substation was to blame — not an alien ship or any of the other wild ideas the sight inspired.

Witnesses described hearing a boom, followed by flashes of light. The light went from white to yellow to an incandescent blue — and with a level of clouds hanging above the New York City skyline, the effect was striking. The comparisons ranged from Ghostbusters to any number of alien movies that have featured the Big Apple.


A few creative people added aliens or monsters with video editing software for fun. Example:

Closer video (stills here) showed the source: a sustained electrical arc at the Con Edison power company’s Astoria substation:

Exactly why a transformer exploded has not yet been determined. Despite the smoke at the scene there was no sustained fire and no one was injured.

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