A strange intermittent ray of light appeared on a picture of the night sky

The photo of an eyewitness from the American state of Arizona looks pretty creepy, because it clearly shows a strange intermittent ray of light piercing the night sky. Of course, first impressions can confuse observers who see something incomprehensible. However, the secret of the mysterious light effect in the sky quickly found an explanation — a strange beam was formed by a SpaceX rocket, and the unusual interrupted line is actually a photographic trick.

Zoomed-in photos of a light show in the night sky. Illustration: perezmedia.net

On March 30, SpaceX launched two Falcon 9 rockets into space in less than four hours. The first rocket put the Eutelsat 36D telecommunications satellite into low-Earth orbit and launched at 05:52 p.m. local time from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The second rocket carried 23 Starlink satellites and launched from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Center at 09:30 p.m. local time.

Unlike the first reusable stages, which automatically return to Earth and land vertically, the second stages are disposable, and after working off they burn up in the upper atmosphere.

Photographer Jeremy Perez witnessed the burning of the second stage after the second evening launch and was able to capture some spectacular images. Perez combined several photos of the burning second stage with a long-exposure as the spent rocket flew over him. The gaps in the light strip reflect the points when the camera shutter was closed.

Photographer Jeremy Perez took impressive pictures of a dotted beam of light in the night sky over Arizona after the launch of SpaceX Falcon 9 on March 31. Author of the image: perezmedia.net

In real time, the event looked different. “It looked like a delicate, cometary dandelion poof drifting overhead,” Perez said. He also added that the light actually looked white, not bright blue, as in the photos. In the extended versions of the photo, you can see a second dim line next to the falling space debris. This band consists of light from the satellites deployed by the rocket, which drift next to it before its final maneuver.

Strange atmospheric effects due to SpaceX

The constant increase in the number of SpaceX rocket launches significantly increases the frequency of strange phenomena in the atmosphere caused by the operation of engines or the burning of spent stages for unprepared eyewitnesses. Lately, people have been seeing creepy spirals that are the result of the release of excess rocket fuel. For example, in March, one of these spirals briefly eclipsed the northern lights over the Arctic.

During the aurora borealis, a large swirl of white light known as the “SpaceX spiral” was photographed over Iceland. Image credit: Shang Yang

The flight of the Falcon 9 rockets can also be seen within a radius of several hundred kilometers as they rise into space. From time to time, they can punch holes in the upper atmosphere, causing red light shows similar to the aurora borealis. However, these light shows are not the only aspect of these frequent launches that attracts attention. Experts are also excited about the number of Starlink satellites being launched into low Earth orbit, which hinders our ability to explore space.

Earlier, we reported on how strange sounds in the stratosphere surprised scientists.

According to livescience.com

Follow us on Twitter to get the most interesting space news in time