An astronomical display was spotted in the sky over New Zealand last night, offering stargazers a rare treat. According to the news received from the New Zealand Herald, a misty and steamy spiral light was seen by many people in the country over the South Island at about 7.30 pm. Most people even took this scene to social media by posting things on sites like Facebook and Twitter.
What could be the reason behind the spiral light phenomenon in New Zealand?
The spiral light phenomenon was witnessed by the people belonging to the south island of New Zealand at around 7.28 pm and the scenery was mainly seen over the skies of Queenstown and Motueka. However, most people believed that the spiral light phenomenon in the New Zealand sky could have been created by some kind of human interference.
What does the Plymouth Astronomical Society say about the spiral light?
According to the reports given by the New Plymouth Astronomical Society, the spiral light in New Zealand’s sky might have appeared or might have been most likely caused due to some kind of fuel dumping. This fuel dumping might have been caused the previous night by a rocket from SpaceX. The society also claimed that there were similar effects observed previously during the launch of SpaceX’s Globalstar 2 FM15.
Is Elon Musk’s SpaceX rocket the reason behind the spiral light in New Zealand’s sky?
In the past two days, SpaceX made three successful launches, where each launch was concerned with the Falcon 9 rocket. Each of these Falcon 9 rockets was carrying a total of about 55 satellites into orbit. These rockets, on the other hand, are also putting pressure on the rival Rocket Lab, which is ultimately aiming to increase the frequency of its launches.
Elon Musk recently set a record by launching three Falcon 9 rockets in a duration of 36 hours. SpaceFlight Now even posted a video showing SpaceX’s launch of the Globalstar satellite from the space station present at Cape Canaveral in the state of Florida.
Did the spiral light phenomenon occur previously in the skies of New Zealand?
The spiral light phenomenon that is seen in the skies of New Zealand last night is also seen previously during the launch of other satellites by SpaceX. Last year, the same kind of spiral phenomenon was seen around the pacific region after SpaceX made its launch. The past seen spiral light appeared brighter in certain regions like the Pacific, Fiji, New Caledonia, Samoa, and a few parts of the island named Tokelau.
Some people even captured the spiral light phenomenon last year. Their recordings and words prove that the spiral light kept expanding its size as time passed and eventually disappeared as fast as it appeared in the sky. However, the spiral light that is seen last year is said to be caused by a Chinese rocket due to its gas release during its flight.
It is ultimately concluded that the blue-colored spiral light phenomenon that occurred in the skies of New Zealand was caused by SpaceX’s rocket launch. A physicist present at the Auckland University named Prof Richard Easther explained the reason behind this, telling that similar clouds can be formed when there’s a launch of a rocket that carries satellites into orbit.
He also added that when the propellant is ejected out from the back of the rocket, there is only water and carbon dioxide present in it. This combination of water and carbon dioxide will likely result in the formation of a cloud in space that is further illuminated by the sun. The professor also mentioned that the geometry of the satellite’s orbit and the direction we are with respect to the sun created the phenomenon over the skies of the South Island.
So, the blue-colored spiral light phenomenon witnessed in New Zealand is more likely caused due to a fuel dump or an exhaust plume from a recently launched SpaceX rocket.
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