Over the past few weeks, the Subaru-Asahi Telescope’s star camera has captured several bizarre sights in the night sky over Hawaii, including eerie blue spirals and eerie green rays of light.
According to researchers, these extraordinary light shows have terrestrial origins and can be attributed to NASA and SpaceX.
On January 19 researchers shared a time-lapse video a brilliant white sphere moving slowly across the sky. After a few seconds, the white dot expands into a perfect blue spiral. The celestial pattern grows into a ring shape before finally fading away.
The strange scene was captured on January 18 by a live-streaming camera from a Subaru stationed atop Mauna Kea on Hawaii’s Big Island.
Researchers quickly determined that the bizarre spiraling object, which certainly appeared to be from another world, was most likely related to a recent one SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch. The two-stage, partially reusable rocket launched at 7:24 a.m. Jan. 18 from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida to orbit a GPS satellite for the US Space Force.
This isn’t the first time bizarre blue spirals have been spotted after a SpaceX Begin. In June 2022, observers as far away as New Zealand were confronted with an almost identical object scene after a Falcon 9 launch from Cape Canaveral.
“It looked like a beautiful galaxy,” said photographer Alasdair Burns of Twinkle Dark Sky Tours on Stewart Island, New Zealand. “It was a very slowly rotating spiral that started small and gradually expanded. Eventually it grew so large and faint that it could no longer be seen. A group of us sat on our balcony and watched it, and none of us had ever seen anything like it.”
Experts say the spiraling is caused by Falcon 9’s upper stage dumping leftover fuel just before it deorbits into the Pacific Ocean. “The upper stage probably rotated on its longest axis to stabilize flight orientation – hence the spiral shape.” spaceweather.com wrote about the New Zealand sightings.
In 2018, a Dutch pilot of a Boeing 747 even managed to do this take a photo of the green and blue spiral of a Falcon 9 from the air as it flies over East Africa.
SpaceX launches have also left other spectacular sights, such as glowing clouds and “space jellyfish.” SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet constellations have been blamed for sparking reports of UFO sightings. potentially pose a security risk to civil aviation.
(Continue reading: Recent UAP sightings by pilots point to challenges to flight safety, experts say )
Satellite trackers and citizen scientists on social media showed The position of the spiraling object captured by Subura’s star camera exactly matched where the second stage Falcon 9 rocket should have been after launch.
On January 28th, Subaru’s star camera captured another strange and rare scene in the Hawaiian night sky.
In a short video shared on the Subaru Telescope YouTube channela beam of bright green light suddenly appears and moves rapidly from left to right in front of the star camera.
The ghostly ray appears to descend from the sky, somewhat resembling downward flowing green characters, or “digital rain“ used in the matrix Film series to depict the computer code of a simulated reality.
Rather than pinpoint a flaw in the matrix, the researchers say the strange green lasers coming down from the sky were likely caused by NASA’s ICESat-2 orbiting satellite and its onboard topographic LIDAR.
ICESat-2, or Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite 2, was launched in 2018 as part of NASA’s Earth Observing System Program.
The only instrument on ICESat-2 is the Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter, referred to as ATLAS. The system includes a powerful space-based lidar that emits 10,000 laser pulses per second to measure the height of ice sheets, glaciers and other frozen and icy regions of Earth’s cryosphere.
Accordingly NASA, the data collected by ICESat-2 will allow scientists “to study why and how much our cryosphere is changing in a warming climate.” The space-based laser will also be used to measure elevations in temperate and tropical regions of the world to take stock of vegetation in forests worldwide.
Maintained by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, the Subaru Asahi Telescope’s Star Camera often captures fascinating celestial phenomena, including rare glimpses of space red sprite flash or massive fireballs that light up the sky as they enter Earth’s atmosphere.
With 13 operating telescopes from 11 countries, the Subaru Observatory is ideally located to capture unique atmospheric events on Mauna Kea on Hawaii’s Big Island. Towering almost 14,000 feet above sea level, the dormant volcano Mauna Kea is Hawaii’s highest peak and the world’s second highest peak on an island.
Most clouds stay below Mauna Kea’s peak, keeping the air dry and free from atmospheric pollution. The remote peak also offers an exceptionally dark and clear view of the night sky, thanks to virtually no light pollution from any nearby population.
Ultimately, Mauna Kea’s extraordinarily stable atmosphere makes it one of the best places in the world for astronomical observations.
In 2021, the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, in partnership with popular Japanese newspaper Asahi-Shimbun, launched the Subaru Telescope Sky Camera, allowing anyone to view the sky over Mauna Kea 24/7 live stream video feed.
“You can enjoy not only the stars, but also the beautiful spectacle from dusk to dawn, as if you were standing on the catwalk of the telescopic dome!” he remarks Subaru Telescope Website. “We really hope that you and your family can enjoy the view.”
Tim McMillan is a retired law enforcement officer, investigative reporter and co-founder of The Debrief. His writing typically focuses on defense, national security, the intelligence community, and topics related to psychology. You can follow Tim on Twitter: @LtTimMcMillan. Tim can be reached via email: [email protected] or via encrypted email: [email protected]