A New Zealand resident spotted a “weird but very cool” blue vortex above her home after the launch of SpaceX on Sunday (June 19).
Claire Riehl captured the spiral image in the sky over Queenstown, a town on New Zealand’s South Island. she Spread (Opens in a new tab) The photo was posted on Twitter early morning Monday (June 20), predicting that “it’s about something SpaceX. “
Her instincts were good. Sky Show came courtesy of SpaceX in two stages Falcon 9 the missile that It was launched from Cape Canaveral Space Station in Florida On Sunday at 12:27 a.m. EDT (0427 GMT), a communications satellite of Louisiana-based Globalstar is carried into orbit.
Helix was created by the upper stage of the Falcon 9, and Rehill wasn’t the only one capturing his activities with a camera.
Jared Wood from Illinois took this video (Opens in a new tab) During the satellite’s orbital entry, a “smoke ring” appears over the Prairie State. (Share it with Spaceweather.com (Opens in a new tab)who gave permission to host it here at Space.com).
“The ring of smoke that Wood saw was a ‘puff’ of separation,” astronomer Tony Phillips on site Wrote (Opens in a new tab). “At that time the missile was more than 1,100 km away,” he added [680 miles] high, so people were able to see it across most of North America.”
As for the vortex seen in New Zealand, the galaxy-shaped feature was due to the upper stage of Falcon 9 spewing out leftover fuel as it fell naturally into the Pacific Ocean. (Unlike the Falcon 9 first stage, which tumbles after launch to regenerate and re-light, the rocket’s upper stage is consumable.)
“Perhaps the upper stage rotated around its longest axis to stabilize the direction of flight, hence the helical shape” Spaceweather.com Books (Opens in a new tab). Similar snails were seen after the previous launch of Falcon 9.
Alasdair_Burns Saw this beautiful rocket spiral in the sky over Stewart Island this evening #space #SpaceX #NewZealand pic.twitter.com/Gv2XpcK3IiJune 19, 2022
SpaceX launches have produced other beautiful patterns in the sky, too. In May, for example, the launch of Falcon 9 for SpaceX starlink Internet satellites produced a “Space Jellyfish” In the dawn sky over the Florida space coast.
This phenomenon occurred because the gas in the nozzles of the rocket engine was at a higher pressure than the surrounding air. Chris Coombs, professor of aerodynamics and mechanical engineering at the University of Texas at San Antonio, explained that the rising sun, just below the horizon, then lit up the column. on Twitter (Opens in a new tab).
SpaceX’s Globalstar launch was the third in about 36 hours for the sake of the company. The company launched 53 Starlink satellites Friday (June 17) from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and a German Army radar satellite from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California on Saturday (June 18).
Editor’s note: If you caught an amazing view of the SpaceX launch and want to share it in a photo gallery or story, let us know! You can send photos and comments in [email protected].
“Infuriatingly humble alcohol fanatic. Unapologetic beer practitioner. Analyst.”