A Japanese telescope camera has captured a bizarre blue "flying spiral" in Hawaii. Taking to YouTube, the official account of Subaru Telescope, which is operated by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, shared the eerie video, which showed the "mysterious" whirlpool of light in the shape of a spiral galaxy briefly appearing in the night sky above Maunakea, Hawaii on January 18.
"A "Mysterious" Flying Spiral was seen over Maunakea. 2023-01-18 UT. Really unusual view! Any idea about what it is? Our keen viewers discovered this rare event... The video was from our "Subaru-Asahi STAR Camera" which is jointly operated by NAOJ (Subaru Telescope) and Asahi Shimbun (Japanese newspaper company)," the caption of the YouTube post read.
Watch the video below:
Internet users were quick to react to the video. They were intrigued by the mysterious flying spiral and sought the reason behind the formation. Some users even made "alien" and spaceship" jokes.
"OMG, Andromeda has arrived 4 billion years early!!" wrote one user. "Hey @elonmusk, this you or aliens?" commented another.
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Meanwhile, according to the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), it turns out the stunning spiral was comprised of frozen rocket fuel that was ejected during a SpaceX launch. "The spiral seems to be related to the SpaceX company's launch of a new satellite," the Japanese space agency wrote on Twitter.
As per Space.com, the SpaceX launch in question was a Falcon 9 rocket that was lifted off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on January 18. The report also mentioned that such spirals have been seen in the past as well. It usually appears as the upper stage of Falcon 9 dumps excess fuel into the ocean.