The misty blue lights looked like a small galaxy forming in the sky, as New Zealanders noted when they noticed the rare shape appearing on Sunday night.
The bizarre spectacle has flooded social media, as people sought an explanation for why the circular lights had occurred.
There is a logical explanation
It wasn’t long before the source of the sighting was revealed: a SpaceX rocket that fired fuel shortly after launch. Locals in Queenstown, Auckland and Mutweka posted the photos to Twitter and Facebook and asked if anyone knew what a strange phenomenon in the sky might be. It was reported to be brighter in parts of the Pacific Ocean, but the vortex was also seen in Fiji, Samoa, New Caledonia and the small island of Tokelau.
It looks like an uncontrollable rotating missile
One commenter wrote on Facebook. Local astronomy groups enthusiastically shared images from across the island on social media.
To quell locals’ curiosity, the country’s New Plymouth Astronomical Society has confirmed that the celestial phenomenon is not suspected extraterrestrial activity but human activity after the launch of a SpaceX rocket.
“The helix observed in the sky around 8:30 last night was likely a fuel release or an exhaust cloud from a SpaceX launch,” they wrote in a Facebook post.
He added that similar effects have been seen before, and it is possible that by this time the SpaceX Globalstar 2 FM15 has overtaken New Zealand.
This was also confirmed by SpaceX, which made three successful Falcon 9 launches over the weekend, launching a total of 55 satellites into space.
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