A blue spiral appears in the night sky over Alaska


Longtime aurora hunter Todd Salat is no stranger to fantastic displays in the night skies of Alaska. But even he was not prepared for what happened after local midnight on Saturday, April 15th.

“I was utterly surprised and mystified when I first spotted a distant bright light coming toward me from the northern horizon,” says Salat. “At first I thought it was a jet airliner flying through some clouds. Then it took on the spiral shape and grew big fast!” This is what he saw:

blue spiral Alaska
blue spiral spotted in the night sky over Alaska. Picture by Todd Salat

“I was shooting frantically with two camera/tripod set-ups knowing that this was a unique event and within about seven minutes the ‘apparition’ swept by and disappeared. It was spellbinding! For the past two nights I had been photographing auroras over this dome (Donnelly Dome) and hoping to catch something special. I got my wish!”

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Here are some videos of the strange sky phenomenon:

What was that strange spiral over Alaska?

Salat witnessed a “SpaceX spiral.” Three hours earlier (Saturday, April 15th at 0648 UT), SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket from California’s Vandenberg Space Force Base. It carried 51 small satellites to Earth-orbit, a mission known as Transporter-7. When the rocket’s discarded upper stage passed over Alaska, it vented its unused fuel. A bit of spin turned the harmless cloud into a spectacular spiral.

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Here are some more pictures of the strange swirling spiral:

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As strange and rare as it appears, the spiral is a routine by-product of SpaceX operations. Similar blue swirls have been seen after many Falcon 9 launches including this one over New Zealand, another over east Africa, and two more above Hawaii. One may be coming soon to a sky near you.

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  1. well we seers are telling you what will happen.

    I’m shad_owed ba_n_ned. I must be doing/saying something right.take out the _
    I have been hi_jacked from user name dEL_TA fORCE o_r dE_LTA fOR_SE email arch_angel_matrix_@_gmail.com. that is not my user name or email. Or ip addy. Manuel will know this.

  2. This is NOT the by-product of man… This is the product of God!
    For those who have eyes to see…let them see!!!
    Man could never make something this miraculous and beautiful yet “scary”.
    Signs in the sky are becoming more abundant. Birth pains increasing.

    • Spiral light shows have occured on earth and have been captured on video. The explanation given is plate tectonics and “lightning” formed from friction.

      The spirals in sky videos always get ths rocket and stage separation as the explanation.

      *The akismet has been acting buggy, Manuel. When I tried to post it populated the input fields with Jim Yost user and email. WTF?

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