An eerie twisted spiral spotted by star watchers in the night sky has sparked fears of an alien invasion.
The mysterious light formation baffled onlookers who glimpsed the South Island of New Zeland around 7:30 pm on Sunday.
Social media was inundated with reactions as people speculated what could be causing the strange phenomenon.
One person said: “Aliens again”.
Someone else joked: “I like the idea that some aliens have opened a portal to send a report – ‘No, don’t worry’ “.
Another wrote: “Premonition from our orbital black hole. ”
One person saw the blue spiral from the west coast of Tasman Bay.
They said, “It only happened around 7:28 pm – I saw it in the Motueka area. It’s (still) moving.”
Another woman uploaded a photo with the caption: “Taken in Queenstown NZ about 30 minutes ago”.
Stargazing guide Alasdair Burns received a message from a friend at around 7:25 pm to go and look at the sky from his home on Stewart Island.
She said The Guardian: “As soon as we got out, it was very obvious what he was referring to.
“It looked like a huge spiral galaxy, suspended in the sky, and slowly adrift. A rather disturbing feeling.
“We quickly knocked on the doors of all our neighbors to get them out too. And so there were about five of us, all out on our shared porch looking up and a little, well, a little crazy.
But the astronomers were able to offer some reassurance to those who may have feared an extraterrestrial invasion.
University of Auckland physicist Professor Richard Easther said the “strange, but easily explained” look of the sky was common when a rocket was carrying a satellite into orbit.
He said, “When the propellant is ejected from the rear, you have what is essentially water and carbon dioxide, which briefly forms a cloud in sunlit space.
“The geometry of the satellite’s orbit and also the way we sit relative to the sun – that combination of things was perfect for producing these completely wacky looking clouds that were visible from the South Island.”
The New Plymouth Astronomical Society agreed that the effects were seen during the SpaceX rocket launch.
SpaceX’s Globalstar 2 FM15 is likely to have overtaken New Zealand around that time.
SpaceX has made three successful launches and landings of its 158th, 159th, and 160th Falcon 9 in less than two days.
They were the 24th, 25th and 26th SpaceX flights of the year and carried a total of 55 satellites into space.
The opera is believed to have made history as the fastest mission sequence of any commercial company.
Mystery as a creepy winding spiral appears in the night sky arousing alien fears
SourceMystery as a creepy winding spiral appears in the night sky arousing alien fears