Astronomers Solve Mystery Of The Bright Flying Whirlpool Spinning In Hawaii's Night Sky

hawaii ufo
The mystery behind a radiant spinning whirlpool in the night sky in Hawaii on April 17th has been solved. The "night spiral" was actually created by a SpaceX Falcon 9 upper stage rocket, and not a UFO.

Footage of an eerie spinning spiral was captured by the Subaru-Asahi Star Camera on Maun Kea in Hawaii on Saturday, April 17th. The telescope is an 8.2-meter optical-infrared telescope and is operated by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan. The spiral can be seen entering the view of the camera from the left side, and continues to spin across the screen until it finally fades away. The answer as to what the spinning phenomenon was, actually came in the form of a SpaceX rocket.

Earlier in the day, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched carrying a reconnaissance satellite (NROL-85) into orbit. What the video captured was "the characteristic spiral caused by the post-deorbit-burn fuel vent of the Falcon 9 upper stage, which was deorbited over the Pacific just after the end of the 1st revolution," according to Dr. Marco Langbroek, a satellite observer. SpaceX launched the spy satellite for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

The Falcon 9's first stage booster is reusable, and landed back on the ground successfully atop a drone ship in the Pacific Ocean, according to SpaceX. The upper stage, however, is not reusable, and once it had sent the spacecraft into its assigned orbit, it fell back into the atmosphere to burn up.
Langbroek had actually been tracking the classified NROL-85 mission. He said in his blog, that he expected the launch to be NOSS 3-9, or a new pair of INTRUDER/NOSS satellites. He was surprised, however, when only one object was detected. He said, "This leads to the question: is NROL-85 a new INTRUDER/NOSS, or not?"

What the reconnaissance satellite actually might be is up for debate. But fortunately the mystery of the "flying whirlpool", as described by, has been solved.

Top Image Credit: Subaru-Asahi Star Camera