Stargazers spotted a mysterious light display in New Zealand last night. Apparently, Elon Musk’s SpaceX rockets might be responsible for it.
Yesterday evening, around 7:30pm, a spiral of blue lights was spotted across the South Island skies of New Zealand. As reported by the New Zealand Herald, many puzzled onlookers flocked to social media to share images of the captivating sight, which first appeared in the Queenstown and Motueka areas.
“Just happening around 7.28pm – saw it at Motueka area. It is (still) moving,” posted a member of the Milky Way Chasers New Zealand Facebook page.
“Does anyone know if there was a satellite put into orbit over NZ tonight or maybe an Australian satellite, saw something like the picture I posted at about 1920hrs tonight looking slightly west at a high elevation Rangiora Canterbury,” inquired another Facebook user by the name of Inch Justin.
As the puzzling phenomenon continued to circulate online, The New Plymouth Astronomical Society came forward with an explanation. Supposedly, the blue spiral was created as a result of a fuel dump or “exhaust plume” from a rocket launch performed by Elon Musk’s company, SpaceX.
Hey space twitter, rocket twitter and all other spitters.
These photos were taken from Motueka and Queenstown gardens tonight at 7:30pm – do we have another space agency in NZ apart from Rocket Lab? Cc: @nzspacegovt @RocketLab @DJSnM pic.twitter.com/Yl7vWCgETM
— _d.menz 📸 (he/they) (@DigDougDigDig) June 19, 2022
“Similar effects have been seen before and SpaceX’s Globalstar 2 FM15 was likely to have passed New Zealand around that time,” declared the society.
As stated by Elon Musk on Twitter, “congrats to SpaceX Falcon team for executing 3 flawless launches in 2 days!”
While we wish there was a cooler and more outer-worldly explanation for this stunning light display across New Zealand skies, it appears more likely that the phenomenon was man-made.