“Is it a fireball?” “Is it an area jellyfish?” Nope, it is a SpaceX rocket.
Some observers alongside the U.S. East Coast noticed a wierd sight in the dead of night, early morning sky on Sunday (March 14): a vivid object streaking throughout the sky, leaving a ballooning, illuminated path behind it. The pre-dawn sky made this spectacle much more hanging and the American Meteor Society (AMS) received about 120 reports about “an noticed object within the sky,” the AMS tweeted. Nevertheless, the sighting was really of a SpaceX rocket, not a fireball, the AMS confirmed.
At 6:01 a.m. EDT (1101 GMT) Sunday morning, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from NASA’s Kennedy Area Middle in Florida, carrying a recent batch of 60 Starlink web satellites into low Earth orbit. Folks all alongside the East Coast, from Florida as much as Maine, noticed the rocket’s good streak throughout the sky.
Associated: SpaceX’s Starlink satellite launches in photos
Skywatchers despatched the AMS images of the “fireball,” displaying the hanging picture of the rocket midflight. Florida launches like this one are sometimes seen alongside the East Coast. However this time, as a result of the launch occurred within the predawn hours, the solar illuminated the rocket’s plume and created a singular atmospheric impact that solely occurs at daybreak and nightfall, the place the sunshine appears like a “area jellyfish” within the sky.
This sighting is not the primary time that skywatchers have mistaken a rocket launch for one thing stranger within the sky. SpaceX launches have sparked claims of UFOs, as they generally create strange, squiggly “clouds” within the sky.
As throughout SpaceX’s different Falcon 9 launches, the reusable rocket’s first stage fell again to Earth shortly after launch; it landed on SpaceX’s drone ship “Of Course I Nonetheless Love You,” which was posted within the Atlantic Ocean, the ninth time for this booster.
SpaceX is working to launch the large constellation of Starlink web satellites to create world web protection and supply web connectivity for these in rural or distant areas that in any other case do not have entry.
E-mail Chelsea Gohd at email@example.com or observe her on Twitter @chelsea_gohd. Observe us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Fb.