Observers of the aurora bore witness to a brief appearance of a light baby blue spiral approximating a galaxy amidst the green bands of light dancing across the Alaskan sky. The cause early Saturday morning was somewhat less extraordinary than an alien invasion or the apparition of a portal to another universe.

It was merely excess fuel from a SpaceX rocket launched from California roughly three hours prior.Don Hampton, a research associate professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute and a space physicist, explained that rockets must sometimes jettison propellant.”When they do that at high altitudes, the fuel turns into ice,” he explained. “And if it’s in the sunlight, when you’re in the darkness on the ground, you can see it as a sort of large cloud, which is sometimes swirly.”

A light baby blue spiral resembling a galaxy occurs briefly in the aurora in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Three times, according to Hampton, although such occurrences are uncommon.The appearance of the swirl was captured in time-lapse by the all-sky camera of the Geophysical Institute and extensively distributed. “It created a bit of an internet storm with that spiral,” Hampton stated.

Photographers who were observing the northern lights also shared their images on social media.”This occurred as the meteor passed over Alaska during a spectacular aurora display, stunning many night-watchers, including myself,” renowned aurora photographer Todd Salat told The Associated Press in an email.

“At first, I was completely perplexed,” he said. “I now understand that it can be explained with rocket science, but during and immediately after the experience, I thoroughly enjoyed the mysterious feeling of the unknown.” Friday night, the rocket launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California carrying approximately 25 satellites. Due to the timing of the fuel dump and the polar launch, the blue spiral was visible over a significant portion of Alaska.

“And we’ve got that spiral thing that looks so cool,”

In January, a second spiral was spotted, this time over the Big Island of Hawaii. A camera at the summit of Mauna Kea, outside the Subaru telescope at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, captured a spiraling object in the night sky. According to researchers, it was caused by the launch of a military GPS satellite on a SpaceX rocket in Florida.

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