National Astronomical Observatory of Japan
- A strange blue ‘whirlpool’ was spotted in the Hawaiian night sky on January 18.
- A Japanese telescope captured footage of the anomaly after a SpaceX navigation satellite launch.
- The spiral was likely attributed to that SpaceX rocket’s fuel, according to the Science Times.
A ghostly blue spiral spotted in the sky over Hawaii could be related to a SpaceX satellite launch, the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan said through its Subaru Telescope’s Twitter earlier this month.
The tweet featured an image of the spiral over Mauna Kea on Hawaii’s Hawaii Island, on January 18.
“The Subaru-Asahi Star Camera captured a mysterious flying spiral over Maunakea, Hawai`i,” the Subaru Telescope said on Twitter on January 19. “The spiral seems to be related to the SpaceX company’s launch of a new satellite.”
The Science Times reported on Saturday that the spiral was likely caused by SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket — which launches satellites and cargo into space — dumping fuel during a descent.
SpaceX launched a global-positioning satellite for the US Space Force on January 18, the Washington Post reported.
After the launch, the Subaru Telescope saw the spiral formation fly over the Mauna Kea volcano before dissipating.
—Subaru Telescope Eng (@SubaruTel_Eng) January 19, 2023
This isn’t the first time a spiral has been spotted in the sky after a SpaceX launch. After a Florida launch in June 2022, a similar spiral was seen over Queenstown, New Zealand, the Washington Post reported.