Mystifying Whirlpool Soars Through The Sky, See The Puzzling Footage

The Subaru Telescope at Mauna Kea caught a strange whirlpool phenomenon in the night sky.

By Jennifer Asencio | Published

A mysterious whirlpool caught by telescope in the night sky may have made people wonder if aliens have come to Earth. CBS News posted a clip of the footage on Twitter, which shows the strange phenomenon as it unfolds, as recorded by the Subaru Telescope in Mauna Kea, Hawaii. However, the source of the phenomenon seems to be from right here on Earth in the form of SpaceX launches, so blame Elon Musk for getting our hopes up.

The whirlpool was captured on Wednesday morning shortly before 4:45 am. It starts out as a ball of light steadily moving across the sky, and when a sudden burst sends a wave of light emanating from it. It continues to move further before growing brighter and taking on a very distinct pinwheel shape, which spins around the central ball as it continues moving. The arms dissipate into a halo around the ball as it fades and blends in with the stars.

A similar phenomenon was recorded in April 2022, according to Yahoo Sports. This earlier whirlpool was also observed at Mauna Kea, and also coincided with a Space-X launch. Scientists believe that the phenomenon is caused by the SpaceX rockets venting fuel into the atmosphere before entering orbit, and the show we see is the fuel burning in the sky.

Reports of unidentified flying objects have been higher in 2022 than in previous years thanks to new ways of reporting sightings without the associated stigma. While this may partly account for the rise in such reports, the number of sightings could also be rising because with more vessels such as rockets and satellites in the night sky, more phenomena like the whirlpool are seen more frequently by more people. These incidents are similar to the advent of air travel when people had to get used to previously silent skies suddenly having a myriad of flight paths overhead.

There is also no shortage of strange things to be seen flying past the Earth if one cares to look in a place where a good telescope can be enhanced by a lack of light pollution. There is a lot of activity in the Solar System that can be seen without the benefit of a super-telescope like the Subaru, which means a lot of private citizens will catch phenomena like the whirlpool with their own eyes and wonder if it came from another planet. Hopefully more video footage of these beautiful effects will be shared with the public as more astronomers, both budding and professional, capture them.

It may be disappointing to find out that the whirlpool in the sky is from SpaceX rather than a visit from aliens, but keep in mind that the SpaceX rockets are launching satellites, some of which will form their own constellation in orbit around the planet. They are bringing StarLink, cell phone signals, and broadcasts from around the world straight to our homes with these launches. The fact that we get a free light show is a bonus.