Eerie red cloud that appeared in the sky blamed on SpaceX launch

Space jellyfish have been photographed in the sky by multiple people following SpaceX's recent launch of a Globalstar satellite.

@AdamHuntTT
Published Thu, Jun 23 2022 9:04 AM CDT   |   Updated Thu, Jun 23 2022 9:39 AM CDT

Multiple photographers have captured the phenomenon unwittingly, as it is invisible to the naked eye.

The phenomenon is known as space jellyfish, and occurs when sunlight reflects off of plumes of exhaust gases from recently launched rockets, particularly later in the evening or in the early morning. The phenomenon has been observed more frequently as more launches occur, and with the advent of reusable rockets, exhaust gases are also present when a rocket fires its engines as it returns to the ground.

Photographer David Johnston was capturing shots of the Milky Way on the night of June 19th when he noticed a large red spot in one of his photos, ruining his picture. It proceeded to grow in subsequent images, dominating the sky, despite being invisible without the camera. A friend of Johnston's suggested a rocket launch could be responsible. Coincidentally, SpaceX had launched one of its Falcon 9 rockets, carrying a Globalstar satellite minutes before when Johnston first noticed the red appear in the sky.

The rocket launched at 12:27:00 am local time and began re-entry burns 8 minutes and 15 seconds into the flight, coinciding with the timestamp of Johnston's first image with the red space jellyfish visible, taken at 12:35:15 am. Other photographers, such as Kyle Henry on Twitter, were also able to capture the event.

Eerie red cloud that appeared in the sky blamed on SpaceX launch 01 | TweakTown.com
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Adam grew up watching his dad play Turok 2 and Age of Empires on a PC in his computer room, and learned a love for video games through him. Adam was always working with computers, which helped build his natural affinity for working with them, leading to him building his own at 14, after taking apart and tinkering with other old computers and tech lying around. Adam has always been very interested in STEM subjects, and is always trying to learn more about the world and the way it works.

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