The National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, operating the Subaru-Asahi Star Camera mounted on Mauna Kea volcano in Hawaii, captured images and video of a flying blue spiral-shaped object on Jan. 18. The object, which started as a small white sphere and expanded into a spiral before fading into a ring and disappearing, was related to SpaceX’s launch of a new satellite, according to a tweet from the Subaru Telescope.
According to the telescope’s YouTube channel, a livestream viewer first noticed the event and brought it to staff’s attention. The livestream is jointly run by the telescope and Asahi Shimbun, a Japanese newspaper company.
The Elon Musk-owned company livestreamed the Falcon 9 rocket launch of the Global Positioning Satellite III space vehicle 06 mission early that day. On the next day, SpaceX launched more than 50 Starlink satellites to orbit from California as reported by foxnews.com
The video captured by the Subaru-Asahi Star Camera on Mauna Kea showed a blueish spiral passing over the Big Island telescope. This type of
phenomenon is not uncommon after SpaceX launches, with similar sightings reported in New Zealand and other locations, according to Space.com.