A mysterious blue 'vortex' of light spotted in Hawaii last week that some blamed on 'aliens' has fortunately turned out to be something much more boring.
Astonishing videos of a bright blue spiral in the night sky initially prompted Twitter users to claim 'it's aliens'.
But according to spokespeople for the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, the whirlpool "seems to be related to the SpaceX company's launch of a new satellite."
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SpaceX had apparently launched a a GPS satellite for the US Space Force using a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral earlier on in the day when the 'swirl' was first observed.
Scientists claim that the phenomenon is caused by frozen rocket fuel being ejected during the launch.
After the rocket separates from its first stage, it uses an engine to move itself into position to deploy a satellite before ejecting any remaining fuel.
It then starts spinning, releasing a 'whirlpool' of crystals made of frozen fuel which were then lit up by the sunlight.
This explains why the swirl is seen unfolding and rotating in videos of the night sky, before disappearing.
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Previous SpaceX launches have caused similar phenomenon, with writers for Spaceweather.com claiming that these 'SpaceX spirals' are now "a common occurrence over the Pacific Ocean" as this is where most Falcon 9 rockets ditch their second stages.
Earlier this month, Elon Musk gave Twitter users a glimpse of 'how we will land on Mars' by sharing a video clip which showed SpaceX rockets successfully landing with the aid of side boosters.
One user said of the footage: "This is the coolest sight in the space world."
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