Earth:Space jellyfish

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A space jellyfish (or jellyfish UFO; also rocket jellyfish) is a rocket launch-related phenomenon caused by sunlight reflecting off the high altitude rocket plume gases emitted by a launching rocket during morning or evening twilight. The observer is in darkness, while the exhaust plumes at high altitudes are still in direct sunlight. This luminous apparition is reminiscent of a jellyfish.[1][2][3] Sightings of the phenomenon have led to panic, fear of nuclear missile strike, and reports of unidentified flying objects.[4][5][6][7][8][9]

List of rocket launches causing space jellyfish

Rocket launch Payload Date Location Summary Notes References
Falcon 9 flight 114 SpaceX Crew-2 2018-10-08 23 April 2021


Florida A crewed Cape Canaveral launch in the pre-dawn. The "jellyfish" lasted over 10 minutes after liftoff. In addition to the "jellyfish" created by the second stage, the returning first stage also made visible plumes. [10][11][12]
Falcon 9 flight 62 SAOCOM 1A 2018-10-08 8 October 2018


California A West Coast launch off California, in the post-dusk; causing UFO reports [13][14][15]
Falcon 9 flight 57 SpaceX CRS-15 2018-06-29 29 June 2018


Florida An East Coast launch off Florida, in the pre-dawn [1]
Soyuz-2.1.b launch Glonass-M satellite 2018-06-17 17 June 2018


European Russia A launch from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome heading over the cities of Nizhny Novgorod and Kazan, Russia.
Falcon 9 flight 46 SpaceX Iridium 4[NB 1] 2017-12-22 22 December 2017


California A West Coast launch off California, in the post-dusk [16]
Atlas V 551 AV-056 flight MUOS-4[NB 2] 2015-09-02 2 September 2015


Florida A Cape Canaveral launch in the pre-dawn. [17][18]
Meteor-M2 weather satellite 2014-07-08 8 July 2014


European Russia A launch from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan [19]
RS-12M Topol-M nuclear missile test launch ISS-37 RT-2PM Topol missile launch (2).jpg N/A 2013-10-10 10 October 2013


Eurasia Launched from Kapustin Yar, Russia; to crash into Shary Shagan, Kazakhstan. [20]
Kosmos 1188 1980-06-14 14 June 1980


European Russia A launch from Plesetsk Cosmodrome resulted in a giant U-shaped jellyfish appearing over Moscow and Kalinin, Russia. [21]
Kosmos 955 1977-09-20 20 September 1977


Northern Europe A launch from Plesetsk Cosmodrome resulted in a jellyfish vapour trail seen over northern Europe, causing the UFO incident known as the "Petrozavodsk phenomenon". [22]

See also

Notes

  1. Iridium-NEXT launch SpaceX-4
  2. U.S. Navy Mobile User Objective System satellite

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Hanneke Weitering (29 June 2018). "See the 'Space Jellyfish' and Other Jaw-Dropping Views from SpaceX's Dragon Launch". Space.com. https://www.space.com/41040-jaw-dropping-spacex-dragon-launch-photos.html. 
  2. РОСКОСМОС (17 June 2018). "РОСКОСМОС. ИНВЕРСИОННЫЙ СЛЕД РАКЕТЫ-НОСИТЕЛЯ "СОЮЗ-2.1Б" НАБЛЮДАЛИ В РЯДЕ РЕГИОНОВ РОССИИ". Roscosmos. https://www.roscosmos.ru/25196/. 
  3. Marta Subat (4 July 2018). "Science: See the 'Space Jellyfish' and Other Jaw-Dropping Views from SpaceX's Dragon Launch". Infosurhoy. http://infosurhoy.com/cocoon/saii/xhtml/en_GB/science/science-see-the-space-jellyfish-and-other-jaw-dropping-views-from-spacexs-dragon-launch/. 
  4. Cleve R. Wootson Jr. (23 December 2017). "A 'UFO sighting' briefly freaked out the West Coast. There was an earthly explanation.". Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2017/12/23/a-ufo-sighting-briefly-freaked-out-the-west-coast-there-was-an-earthly-explanation/?noredirect=on. 
  5. LISA MARIE SEGARRA (23 December 2017). "People in L.A. Definitely Thought This SpaceX Rocket Launch Was Aliens". Time Magazine. http://time.com/5078397/spacex-los-angeles-aliens/. 
  6. Mike Wright (23 December 2017). "'Did we just see a UFO?' SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch causes consternation as it lights up the Californian skies". The Telegraph (UK). https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/12/23/did-just-see-ufo-spacex-falcon-9-rocket-launch-causes-consternation/. 
  7. "A giant, glowing jellyfish or an alien invasion? No, this is a reused SpaceX rocket". Hindustan Times. Associated Press. 23 December 2017. https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/a-giant-glowing-jellyfish-or-an-alien-invasion-no-this-is-a-reused-spacex-rocket/story-Hs9nUN4wjC2JnHyXjCi2II.html. 
  8. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Independent-2018-06-18
  9. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named MoscowTimes-2018-06-18
  10. April 2021, Amy Thompson 23. "SpaceX launches 4 astronauts to space station, nails rocket landing" (in en). https://www.space.com/spacex-crew-2-astronaut-launch-rocket-landing-success. 
  11. Kelly, Jennifer Sangalang and Emre. "NASA and SpaceX launch Crew-2 astronauts: Best tweets, photos from Twitter, Instagram" (in en-US). https://www.floridatoday.com/story/news/2021/04/23/photos-nasa-spacex-launch-crew-2-kennedy-space-center/7348203002/. 
  12. Volz, Brianna (2021-04-23). "What were those white flashes in the sky after SpaceX’s Crew-2 launch? We explain" (in en). https://www.clickorlando.com/news/space-news/2021/04/23/after-successful-spacex-launch-rocket-booster-returns-to-light-up-floridas-sky/. 
  13. Alexandra Lozovschi (10 October 2018). "Stunning Photos From The Latest SpaceX Rocket Launch Reveal A Dazzling Plume In The California Sky". The Inquisitor. https://www.inquisitr.com/5109706/stunning-photos-from-the-latest-spacex-rocket-launch-reveal-a-dazzling-plume-in-the-california-sky/. 
  14. William Graham (7 October 2018). "SpaceX Falcon 9 launches with SAOCOM 1A and nails first West Coast landing". NASA Spaceflight .com. https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/10/spacex-falcon-9-saocom-1a-launch-west-coast-landing/. 
  15. Ian Atkinson (2 October 2018). "SpaceX conducts static fire test ahead of SAOCOM-1A mission, first west coast RTLS". NASA Spaceflight .com. https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/10/spacex-falcon-9-for-static-fire-saocom-1a-first-west-rtls/. 
  16. Loren Grush (23 December 2018). "All the best reactions to SpaceX's Friday night rocket launch in California". https://www.theverge.com/2017/12/23/16814036/spacex-falcon-9-rocket-launch-los-angeles-celebrities-ufo. 
  17. Jonathan O`Callaghan (4 September 2015). "No, That Incredible Atlas V Launch Was Not A UFO". IFL Science. http://www.iflscience.com/space/no-incredible-atlas-v-launch-was-not-ufo-please-stop-asking/. 
  18. Maxime Lambert (21 July 2016). "La vidéo d'un étrange halo bleu relance le débat sur Internet". Maxi Sciences. http://www.maxisciences.com/ovni/la-video-d-un-etrange-halo-bleu-relance-le-debat-sur-internet_art38407.html. 
  19. Lauren Hitchings (10 July 2014). "Jellyfish in the sky was a high-flying rocket plume". New Scientist. https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn25877-jellyfish-in-the-sky-was-a-high-flying-rocket-plume/. 
  20. Alan Boyle (14 October 2013). "UFO? Astro ghost? Find out what that spooky space cloud really was". NBC News. https://www.nbcnews.com/science/ufo-astro-ghost-find-out-what-spooky-space-cloud-really-8C11390533. 
  21. Chris A. Rutkowski (2008). A World of UFOs. Dundurn. p. 99. ISBN 978-1-77070-343-8. 
  22. James Oberg (31 December 1981). "Close encounters of a fabricated kind". New Scientist 92 (1285): 896–898. 

Further reading

External links