Last week, SpaceX made headlines again after a Falcon 9 rocket blasted a hole through the atmosphere, leaving a trail of reddish, pink trail of blood across the night sky. The bleeding hole left by the rocket was captured in several amazing images, including one spectacular image from photographer Jeremy Perez, who shared the shot on his Instagram.
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Perez captured the shot of the SpaceX atmosphere hole and the reddish light trail it created from the San Francisco Volcanic Fields, located north of Flagstaff, Arizona. Perez said that the trail could only be seen in certain areas of California and Arizona but was spectacular.
“After the rocket passed overhead, a red fluorescent glow expanded south and crossed over with the Milky Way in the sky,” Perez told Spaceweather.com. Perez captured several shots of the glow, which some have described as a bleeding hole in the atmosphere. The glow lasted just around 20 minutes.
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The reason for this glow, and for similar glows seen in the past, is due to the holes that rockes often punch through the ionosphere. These holes aren’t dangerous to us here on the surface, but the way that the gases interact with the solar radiation beyond the ionosphere causes the glowing effect – sometimes even seen as a whirlpool in the sky.
These effects have been known about since at least 2005, when a titan rocket first triggered what scientists refer to as “severe ionospheric perturbations.” These “perturbations” are essentially the same as a minor geomagnetic storm hitting the ionosphere.
These light displays are likely to increase in frequency as private rocket companies launch more rockets. So the next time you see a strange glow of light across the sky, it’s most likely the result of a SpaceX (or another company’s) rocket piercing a hole in our atmosphere and the exhaust interacting with solar radiation.
The post See the night sky ‘bleed’ after a SpaceX rocket blasts through the atmosphere appeared first on BGR.