Strange 'Norway spiral' was an out-of-control missile - space - 10 December 2009 - New Scientist
The Russian Ministry of Defense has confirmed that this photo was of a failed Russian submarine-launched Bulava missile. The missile was supposed to be able to evade missile-defense systems, but 6 of the last 11 launches have failed, representing a significant setback to the program. The image is believed to be a result of a damaged nozzle on the missile's third stage, well above the atmosphere. As a result the missile spiraled out of control, creating the vortex.