Spirals of blue light appear in the skies of New Zealand, experts point to the launch of SpaceX

The blue spiral appeared on Sunday in the night sky over New Zealand.

Observers of stars in New Zealand were surprised by strange, spiral light formations in the night sky on Sunday night. The photos were widely shared on social media, and many New Zealanders compared them to some kind of “wormhole”. But experts said that these “strange-looking clouds” were caused by the Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Globalstar DM15 satellite.

The extraordinary scene was first filmed by residents of Nelson, a town on the northern island of New Zealand, and was visible 750 km south of Stewart Island.

“Does anyone know if there was a satellite in orbit above the NZ tonight or maybe an Australian satellite, saw something like a picture I posted tonight around 1920 looking slightly west towards the high altitude of Canterbury Ranger,” Facebook user Inch Justin said. in the New Zealand Group Astronomers magazine.

“The picture I posted is just an example of what I saw. I couldn’t take a picture of it, I just grabbed my binos and watched something that looked like a satellite in the middle of a spiral going north at high speed. nodes, “the user said further.

Users flooded the group with comments. “Yes, a few of us saw it from Hawk Bay, near the tail of Canis Major, and then moved northeast,” the user commented.

“It’s definitely cool,” said another.

Professor Richard Easter, a physicist from the University of Auckland, explained the reasons behind this phenomenon. Clouds of this nature sometimes appeared when the rocket carried the satellite into orbit, he said Guardian.

“When the propellant is thrown out in the back, you have what is essentially water and carbon dioxide – which briefly form a cloud in the sunlit universe,” said Professor Ister. “The geometry of the satellite’s orbit, as well as the way we sit in relation to the sun – that combination of things was accurate to produce these completely wacky clouds that were visible from the South Island.

The New Plymouth Astronomical Society announced on Facebook that it was “most likely a” fuel depot “or an” exhaust cloud “of the SpaceX rocket launch”, because similar effects have already been seen.

According to Professor Ister, it is a Falcon 9 rocket, which SpaceX used to send satellites into low Earth orbit on Sunday.

SpaceX boss Elon Musk congratulated the Falcon team on the launch. “Congratulations to the SpaceX Falcon team on completing 3 flawless launches in 2 days!” He said on Twitter.

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