SpaceX today launched 53 internet satellites, known as Starlinks, off the coast of Florida. Just hours before launch, the company, founded by Elon Musk, brought home four astronauts after spending nearly six months on the International Space Station. In the midst of this busy day for SpaceX, a visual phenomenon called “space jellyfish” excited some Florida residents.
The space jellyfish effect occurs when a rocket takes off in the hours around sunrise or sunset. The exhaust of the rocket produces a plume of smoke once it has reached a great height. When the sky is clear, the sun’s rays illuminate the trail of gases. The effect resembles the bell and tentacles of a jellyfish.
#spacex Starlink mission launched in Orbital Sunrise this morning! Seen from Tampa, Florida.
— Erik Kuna 🚀 (@erikkuna) May 6, 2022
The Friday morning launch of SpaceX produced a “space jellyfish” witnessed by many who got up early to witness the launch. Several social media users shared the cloud of lit gases seen in the dark sky before sunrise in Florida.
Well, that never gets boring!!! pic.twitter.com/36iVPDj3Lt
— Eric Burris (@EricBurrisWESH) May 6, 2022
— Sam Gallaher 🇺🇦 (@samwell224) May 6, 2022
From Lady Lake! pic.twitter.com/ztUg1w0RN4
— Amanda (@AmandaJuneM) May 6, 2022
Wow! Hell yes! That’s a well-placed ground bulkhead of the same one #SpaceX Starlink launch!
Thanks to @CaptainMoonlig7 to share!https://t.co/HfURuUONdUhttps://t.co/LfTRL5F4N0pic.twitter.com/Qks4uUKew3
— Marcus House (@MarcusHouse) May 6, 2022
SpaceX’s Jessica Jenson explained the phenomenon, telling the media, “What’s happening is it’s still dark outside, but you have the sun illuminating the plume while it’s in space.” Ms. Jensen is the Director of Dragon Mission Management for SpaceX.
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