TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — If you were awake early Friday morning, you probably saw a strange-looking light in the sky.
Don’t worry, the aliens aren’t invading (yet). The light you saw was actually one of our own spacecraft, a SpaceX Falcon 9. SpaceX launched the rocket at 5:42 a.m. from the Kennedy Space Center before it deployed 53 Starlink satellites into orbit.
The launch ended up creating a so-called “space jellyfish,” which could be seen across the state of Florida and even as far as the Savannah, Georgia, area.
Space jellyfishes are not commonly produced by rocket launches since they depend on numerous factors to appear.
WFXR News’ sister station, WFLA, explained that the best time for the atmospheric effect to appear is around sunrise when sunlight travels at a more horizontal angle.
This sunlight then illuminates the gas particles left in the atmosphere by the launch, creating the effect seen by many Tampa Bay area residents.
In some photos, the effect truly did resemble a bioluminescent jellyfish one might see in the ocean.