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A mysterious ‘flying whirlpool’ in the sky over Hawaii was caught on video

Published Apr 22nd, 2022 4:27PM EDT

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Earlier this week, a mysterious flying whirlpool was spotted over the Maunakea Observatories in Hawaii. While many speculated about whether it was a UFO or a wormhole, astronomers have offered another explanation.

This mysterious flying whirlpool isn’t extraterrestrial

Dr. Marco Langbroek, a technical advisor at the Leiden University astronomy department says the spiral-shaped flying whirlpool isn’t a UFO. Instead, it’s the post-deorbit-burn fuel vent from the upper stage of a SpaceX rocket launched that same day.

The rocket in question launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. Dr. Langbroek, who is also an author at the SatTrackCam blog, says the deorbit of the rocket’s upper stage hit over the Pacific Ocean. The spiral flying whirlpool is a characteristic mark of the rocket’s post-deorbit burn.

While the identity of the mysterious flying whirlpool isn’t exciting as if it was a UFO, it’s still an intriguing site. To see the de-orbit-burn creating such a spectacular spiral is yet another reminder of just how amazing our recent pushes into space have been. This particular rocket was used to launch a NROL-85 spacecraft, which is a spy satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office.

Unidentified flying objects in the sky

ufo lights
Mysterious lights seen over Hawaii. Image source: Kuuipo Kanawaliwali/Facebook

While the flying whirlpool sighting is exciting, it’s not really a UFO. As such, while it might look mysterious at first, the anomaly is completely normal.

Still, there is something exciting about the prospect of a UFO creating such an effect. Many people spend years of their lives looking for signs that alien life has come to Earth. We’ve previously seen reports of supposed UFOs submerged in the ocean. This isn’t the first time people have mistaken SpaceX debris for a UFO, either.

Back in 2021, a UFO spotting over Washington turned out to just be debris from a SpaceX Starlink launch. Of course, stories like that of the debris and the mysterious flying whirlpool don’t negate some of the more intriguing ones out there. Like, for example, the US Navy confirming that it has spotted unidentifiable objects flying around in Earth’s airspace.

Now, were these objects alien in nature? That’s unclear. There’s just not enough information to properly determine that. However, much like the flying whirlpool that was spotted over Hawaii, these objects appear to defy Earth’s laws of flight. As such, many are still scratching their heads about the possibilities of what they could be.

Looking for more space news? Check out this 4 billion-year-old comet hurtling into our solar system.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.

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