• Footage of the phenomenon shows the full sequence of the spiral's appearance
  • There was a SpaceX launch earlier in the day
  • Such mysterious spirals have previously been observed after SpaceX launches

An observatory in Hawaii has captured a stunning, albeit mysterious-looking spiral in the evening sky. It's quite likely the result of a SpaceX launch.

The Subaru Telescope, mounted on the summit of the Maunakea, Hawaii, spotted a rather eerie-looking flying spiral on Jan. 18. In the photo shared on Twitter, one can see the strange, bluish light spiral along with the many stars in the sky.

"The spiral seems to be related to the SpaceX company's launch of a new satellite," the Subaru Telescope's Twitter account noted.

It also shared a short video showing the time-lapse of the spiral moving across the sky. The "really unusual view" starts out looking rather like a moving bright star until it grows into a strange, spiral shape before eventually disappearing.

It was captured by the Subaru-Asahi STAR Camera.

Indeed, SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, earlier on Jan. 18, making it the likely cause of the phenomenon.

It wasn't the first time a SpaceX mission created rather strange views in the sky, as previous missions have also resulted in similar views. In fact, in April 2022, it was also the Subaru Telescope that caught a glimpse of a "mysterious flying whirlpool." At the time, it explained that the source appeared to be a falling second stage of a Falcon 9 rocket.

Just months later in June 2022, skywatchers in New Zealand were also surprised to see the spiral light appearing in the night sky. Many of them took to social media to share photos of what looked like a clearly defined spiral galaxy.

Again, it was attributed to a SpaceX launch.

But those strange-looking spiral lights aren't the only odd things in the night sky that have understandably been catching the attention of people. Previously, for instance, quite a few people were baffled by a strange trail of lights moving slowly across the sky.

Still slightly related to a SpaceX launch, the odd sighting — which some even joked to be Santa Claus — turned out to be a string of Starlink satellites that were launched earlier in the day.

Night Sky/Cosmos/Milky Way/Sky Watching
Representative image. Pixabay-Pexels