Alaska Night Sky: Observers See Odd Spirals Amid the Northern Lights

Alaska Night Sky Observers See Odd Spirals Amid the Northern Lights | CIO Women Magazine

Several Northern light enthusiasts were in for a surprise when they saw a light baby blue spiral mixed in with the green bands of light dancing in the Alaska Night Sky. The blue spiral appeared in the middle of the aurora for a few minutes.

A seeming portal to another dimension, or even the possibility of an alien invasion are a few things that are too farfetched for the cause of this. The real reason was a little more mundane to the fanatics. Turns out, the baby blue spiral was simply some of the excess fuel which had been released from a SpaceX rocket that had launched from California three hours before people saw the spiral.

There are times when the rockets have fuels which need to be jettisoned, said one space physicist, Don Hampton in a statement. Don Hampton is a research associate professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute.

Night of the Northern Lights in Alaska Night Sky

“When they do that at high altitudes that fuel turns into ice” he said. “And if it happens to be in the sunlight, when you’re in the darkness on the ground, you can see Alaska Night Sky as a sort of big cloud, and sometimes it’s swirly.”

Even though this is not a common sight, Hampton said that he had seen such kinds of appearances about thrice before.

The swirl that appeared in the sky was caught in a time-lapse on the all-sky camera of the Geophysical Institute and was shared widely. The spiral created a bit of an Internet storm.

Several groups of photographers who were out for the northern lights show of Alaska Night Sky also took to social media, posting photos of this strange occurrence.

The SpaceX rocket that created this stir had taken off from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California and had about 25 satellites as its payload.



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