Astronomy enthusiasts in New Zealand witnessed an astonishing site in the night sky as they observed strange blue spiraling formations. The astronomical phenomenon was recorded at around 7.30pm on Sunday by the citizens of Nelson, a city at the tip of New Zealand's South Island.
As the stargazers posted pictures and videos of the bizarre site on social media, several theories emerged almost instantly ranging from UFOs and Alien invasions to foreign rockets and large-scale light shows.
Residents in Stewart Island, 30 km south of South Island stated that the spiral was the weirdest things they have ever seen. "It was absolutely bizarre. It was like a massive spiral. And it very, very slowly, serenely moving north across the night sky and then just sort of dissipating as it went," star-gazer Alasdair Burns told Stuff news.
Locals from MÄpua, a small town in South Island said that the formation appeared like a planet and a star as it grew bigger and bigger every minute and continued to travel across the sky.
"It wasn't blinking or twinkling, and it was moving fairly fast... so fascinating," explained Augustine Matthews.
However, all the theories revolving around the phenomenon being related to a UFO or an alien invasion were debunked by a Facebook post of the New Plymouth Astronomical Society, as per the Daily Mail.
The post revealed that the phenomenon was actually a dying rocket launched by SpaceX on Sunday Morning. It explained that the strange site was most likely 'a fuel dump' or 'exhaust plume' from the rocket launch.
"The spiral that was seen in the sky tonight around 7:30pm was most likely a fuel dump or exhaust plume from a SpaceX rocket launch," the Facebook post read. "Similar effects have been seen before, and SpaceX's Globalstar 2 FM15 was likely to have passed New Zealand around that time."
According to the official Twitter account of SpaceFlight Now, the private rocket company of Elon Musk had launched the third Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Globalstar DM15 satellites early Sunday.
The spirals must have been the plumes coming from the rocket when it released its payload and spun, discharging fuel, resulting in a vapor trail that reflected sunlight.