Eerie flying spiral spotted by Mauna Kea telescope
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Subaru Telescope on Mauna Kea captured video last week of a mysterious light over Hawaii. And it wasn’t a bird, plane ... or UFO.
Turns out the so-called “flying spiral” is actually a new satellite that was launched earlier that day by SpaceX.
SpaceX sent a Global Positioning Satellite into space for the U.S. Space Force on Wednesday.
On Jan 18, 2023 (HST), the Subaru-Asahi Star Camera captured a mysterious flying spiral over Maunakea, Hawai`i. The spiral seems to be related to the SpaceX company's launch of a new satellite.— Subaru Telescope Eng (@SubaruTel_Eng) January 19, 2023
Watch the video:https://t.co/851Gz7VojV#SubaruTelescope pic.twitter.com/Np58fxpX9e
“The spiral seems to be related to the SpaceX company’s launch of a new satellite,” Subaru Telescope officials from the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan wrote, in a tweet.
Satellite tracker Scott Tilley also chimed in on the thread and said the location of the spiral was a close match for where the second stage Falcon 9 rocket from SpaceX was expected to be in the minutes after launch.
Fuel vent from the F9 2nd stage from the NAVSTAR 82 (USA 343) [55268, 2023-009A] launch. The payload orbital elements propagated back reveal a very close match around 2023-01-18T14:40 UTC. pic.twitter.com/UmcStuWj2L— Scott Tilley 🇺🇦 (@coastal8049) January 20, 2023
Officials say this isn’t the first time a similar glowing, circular feature was spotted after a SpaceX launch.
People in locations as distant as New Zealand have seen such spirals overhead after Falcon 9 activity.
In other occurrences of similar SpaceX satellites, space watchers have said the spiral shape arises as the upper stage of the Falcon 9 vents release fuel during its long descent into the ocean.
Officials say SpaceX has sent five missions to space in the first 19 days of 2023.
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