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People Speak of a Time-Vortex in New Zealand

Updated: Jun 14, 2023

A strange, spiral formation of light in the night sky that looks like a time gate and appeared a few months ago in New Zealand has puzzled and left stargazers bewildered and impressed.

The strange, spiraling light formations have left stargazers speechless, however, with some suggesting they most likely come from a cloud of exhaust gases from Elon Musk’s SpaceX rocket. But what happened?

Stargazing guide Alasdair Burns from Stewart Island/Rakiura told the Guardian at around 7.25pm. on Sunday, a friend texted him to go outside and look at the sky. “Once we actually got outside, it was very obvious what he was referring to,” said Burns, who, in the darkness, made out a huge, blue spiral of light that looked like a time gate. “It looked like a huge spiral galaxy, just hanging there in the sky and slowly drifting away,” he said, adding that it was a “quite eerie” feeling.

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He captured the images on his mobile phone. “We immediately knocked on the doors of our neighbors to get them out too. There were about five of us, on the common terrace of our houses and we were looking up,” he noted.

The country’s social media was flooded with stargazing and amateur astronomy groups with people sharing their own photos and conspiracy theories about the phenomenon, which was visible across much of the southern part of the country. From UFOs to missile attacks and flash advertisements, theories abounded. “Prediction from our orbiting black hole,” one said while another wrote “the aliens again.”

According to University of Auckland physicist Richard Easther, the reality was probably a little more prosaic. As he noted, the phenomenon was “strange but easily explainable”. As he claimed, such formations sometimes appear when a rocket carries a satellite into orbit.

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“When the propellant is ejected from the back, we essentially have water and carbon dioxide – that briefly forms a cloud in space that is illuminated by the sun,” he noted, adding that “the geometry of the satellite’s orbit and also the way we are in relation to the sun – that combination of things was just right to create these absolutely crazy clouds that were visible from the South Island.”

The phenomenon has happened again.

So the explanation concludes that the bright spiral was probably a missile, and it is the same reason for a similar phenomenon that was perhaps first observed en masse in 2009, when a Russian missile launch caused huge blue spirals over Norway. Even knowing the likely source, he said, it was an impressive sight. “None of us had ever seen anything like this before. It was spectacular.”

As Easther said, what New Zealanders saw in the sky was likely the launch of Elon Musk’s SpaceX’s Globalstar, which the company sent into low-Earth orbit from Cape Canaveral in Florida on Sunday.

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