What a dot, what a lit fire. The Metop3 polar satellite took a satellite image of the republic and its immediate surroundings on Sunday evening, when witch burning celebrations were taking place throughout the Czech Republic. Thanks to the good weather, she was able to capture where people were lighting fires everywhere.
The Czech Hydrometeorological Office (ČHMÚ) published the picture, which was taken shortly before eight o’clock in the evening by the meteorological satellite Metop3, on its social networks. The resulting photo contains brighter points indicating lit fires or a nearby group of fires. Thanks to the clear sky, she captured the celebrations of the last day of April in most of the Czech Republic and also across the border in Saxony.
In places where the dots are not clear, the fires were also burning, but they could have been covered by clouds from above.
“It doesn’t happen every year that it’s clear tonight. But this year we’re lucky, so we can admire the fires burning in the countryside, not only up close, but also from the view of the Metop3 polar satellite. The individual points are lit fires, can you find yours? ” wrote about the picture of ČHMÚ on Twitter.
“The size of the individual image points of the image is approximately 1×1 km; therefore, if there are several fires in an area of this size, captured by individual pixels, they cannot be distinguished from each other – in the image, they combine into a single heat source,” he described four years ago at a similar Martin Setvák from the satellite department of the ČHMÚ photographed the issue.
According to ancient tradition, the night from April 30 to May 1 is attributed with magical power. The holiday was originally celebrated on the full moon, which was closest to the sun exactly between the vernal equinox and the summer solstice. Fires were lit on high places to protect against witches. Until today, mostly only the making of fires, during which feasting or singing is preserved. Some places also burn a witch’s effigy or broomsticks, roasting dumplings, contests for the best mask, contests in witchcraft skills or a gathering of witches are popular. The Celtic spring festival Beltine falls on the same date, in northern Europe the last night of April is called Walpurgis.
#burning witches It doesn’t happen every year that it’s clear tonight. But this year we are lucky, so we can enjoy the fires burning in the landscape not only up close, but also from the Metop3 polar satellite. Individual points are lit fires, can you find yours?🔥🙃 pic.twitter.com/IH4DThBeL0
— Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (ČHMÚ) (@CHMUCHMI) April 30, 2023
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