To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Mysterious blue spiral appears in the sky over Hawaii baffling onlookers

Mysterious blue spiral appears in the sky over Hawaii baffling onlookers

Is Elon Musk behind the mysterious light?

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it an alien invasion? No, it's probably just Elon Musk again.

Astronomers were left baffled when a mysterious blue swirling shape briefly appeared in the night sky over Hawaii last week. Can you spot it?:

The unusual shape was spotted by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan's Subaru Telescope on 18 January above Mauna Kea, Hawaii.

Sharing their discovery to their official YouTube channel, the team wrote: "At first it was just a small dot at the left centre of the view.

"Then it ejected an arc-like feature. It became slightly larger...

"A bright dot appeared in the blob then it grew into a spiral."

So what was this bizarre phenomenon in the sky?

As expected, there were a lot of, shall we say, inventive guesses.

"It's a rip in the space time continuum. Duh," commented one viewer.

Another wrote: "It's obviously the Enterprise from Star Trek: First Contact."


It turns out, the actual cause of this mysterious blue swirl in the sky is the same cause a lot of other unusual goings on these days: Elon Musk.

Of course it was Elon.
AC NewsPhoto / Alamy Stock Photo

The Japanese space agency noted that the strange appearance in the sky seemed to be connected to SpaceX's latest satellite launch.

SpaceX successfully launched their Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida on January 18.

After a rocket shoots up into space and deploys the satellite, it will return back to earth - but not before it ejects any remaining rocket fuel.

And that would explain the swirly blue spiral.

When the rocket fuel is ejected, it freezes and crystallises in the shape of a spiral, and is then illuminated by the sun.

According to, 'SpaceX spirals' are pretty common over the Pacific.

This isn't the first time that SpaceX's missions have put some blue spirals in the sky, you see.

Back in June 2022, New Zealanders spotted the exact same phenomenon overhead shortly after another one of SpaceX's satellite launches.

The blue swirl is actually frozen rocket fuel.

SpaceX have already executed a number of missions in January alone, and are planning to set off on their next one tomorrow (Monday 30).

According to Spaceflight Now, which keeps track of all planned orbital missions around the world, SpaceX plan to launch yet another Falcon 9 rocket on Monday, 30 January at 16.34pm GMT (8.34am PST, 11.34am EST).

The rocket will carry a number of its Starlink internet satellites in the company's seventh lift-off of 2023.

Featured Image Credit: 管理人_SubaruTel_StarCamAdmin/YouTube

Topics: Elon Musk, SpaceX, Space, Weird