Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Popping orbs!

Video orb zoneOrbs just won't go away! Most paranormal researchers now agree that there is no evidence that orbs are paranormal. But there are still people who DO think some orbs might be paranormal. So, rather than simply ignore the subject, I decided to make some videos exploring the orb zone. And I was rewarded by some surprising images, like 'popping' orbs!

Most orbs are illuminated by a flash (or another light) attached to the camera. In the setup I used (pic right), a torch illuminated the area just in front of the camera creating an orb zone where dust is out of focus and strongly illuminated. The diagram may be difficult to see on this page but there is a much bigger version here.

You can see the 'popping' orbs in the short video here. What you will see is a group of orbs floating around in front of the torch. The orbs were created using real dust, abiding by the authentic conditions demanded by the principles of xenonormal studies. Particles of dust were deliberately disturbed to get a reasonable number floating around but, apart from that, the conditions were typical of just about any building.

Circles of confusionWhat you will see is an area lit by a torch (on the right). The background is rough paper with bits of dust on it. You will notice that some of the moving orbs appear to grow larger, and in a few cases smaller, as they move about. In particular there are some examples of orbs that grow steadily larger and then vanish (especially towards the end of the orb clip), as if they are popping out of existence, like a bursting soap bubble. This phenomena would not be obvious in most orb videos because the position of the light illuminating the scene (usually on the camera) is different.

Orbs are growing larger because they are approaching the camera and so getting more and more out of focus. In the diagram (right) you can see how a tiny object (like a particle of dust) is projected by a camera lens onto a sensor. If it is in focus (particle A), it appears as a dot on the sensor. But if the dust particle gets too close to the camera to be in focus (B) the dot becomes a diffuse circle - an orb - on the sensor. And the closer the dust particle approaches, the larger the orb becomes.

However, in the setup with the torch, the orbs are reaching a point where they are no longer illuminated by the torch. As you can see in the upper diagram, there is an area just in front of the lens where the light from the torch does not reach, so no orbs show there. So when an orb 'pops' it is simply leaving the area illuminated by the torch. The orb is not really bursting, it is simply vanishing.

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