Astronomers create a spiral from the launch of the Falcon Heavy

The camera at the observatory on Mount Mauna Kea, on the Hawaiian Islands, recorded a strange spiral in the sky. According to the time and place of its appearance, it was calculated that this was a trace of the launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket by SpaceX.

Spiral in the sky. Source: NAOJ and Asahi Shimbun

Mysterious Spiral

On January 18, a camera on Mount Mauna Kea near the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan in Hawaii recorded an amazing spiral in the sky. The video shows how the white ball expands and forms a spiral, it moves across the sky and finally fades and disappears. 

Mauna Kea volcano on the main island of the Hawaiian archipelago is famous for some of the best conditions in the world for observing the starry sky. There is a very transparent atmosphere and little precipitation. Therefore, different states have set up their observatories here. However, the mountain is sacred to the locals, which is why they regularly have clashes with astronomers.

In order to defuse the situation a little, Japanese scientists install a camera next to the Subaru telescope, which simply takes pictures of the starry sky. The broadcast from it takes place jointly with the newspaper “Asahi Shimbun”. It often gathers a lot of enthusiasts to admire the starry sky.

Falcon Heavy Launch Trace

When a spiral appeared during the broadcast, which took place on January 18, the employees at first simply did not pay attention to it, and then remembered that in April 2022 they had already seen a similar phenomenon. And there is a quite earthly and simple explanation for it.

The reason for the appearance of such a spiral is the launch of the Falcon Heavy super-heavy rocket. On the morning of January 18, it just launched from the spaceport in Florida and launched a military satellite into space. The position occupied by the spiral in the sky clearly corresponds to the point where the trace of the carrier overcoming the Earth’s atmosphere should remain.

Last April, the reason was the same. This time, the scientists decided to verify their assumption and sent a request to SpaceX. However, the company has not confirmed that the spiral followed the launch of their heavy rocket.

According to

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