In the icy north of America, you can often see atmospheric phenomena that are not visible in the southern parts of the United States. Mostly these are spectacular auroras formed as a result of a solar storm. But the other day, an unusual atmospheric phenomenon in the form of a spiral was noticed over Alaska, which frightened eyewitnesses.
Against a stunning background of wavy green light, a blue spiral blossomed out of the bright light on the northern horizon, growing larger and moving rapidly across the sky. A frame-by-frame shot of an amazing view can be seen in the video below, starting at about 1 minute 28 seconds.
No matter how unusual this sight may be for people of Alaska, this is not the first time when a shining vortex attracts the attention of deceived sky watchers. Unfortunately for conspiracy theorists and fans of unidentified flying objects, the celestial whirlpool has a fairly simple explanation.
A few hours before the appearance of the spiral, a Falcon 9 rocket with dozens of satellites launched at the Vandenberg SpaceX Space Force base in California as part of its Transporter-7 mission. A few minutes after launch, the first stage of the rocket returned to the Earth’s atmosphere and landed gently to be reused in future missions.
Meanwhile, the Falcon 9’s second stage continued in orbit, where it completed its mission, before descending back to Earth in a spiral and burning up. Upon entering the atmosphere, the stage dumped the remnants of fuel into the upper atmosphere, tiny droplets of which froze into tiny reflective crystals.
Celestial spirals often appear when launching rockets over the years. But for those who do not follow cosmic events, such “celestial jellyfish” can be a terrible surprise in the middle of the night.
Earlier we reported how an astronaut made an “unreal” image of the aurora from the ISS.
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