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Skies alert: California rocket launch visible in southern Utah has potential to be ‘space jellyfish’



ST. GEORGE — The scheduled launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from California on Wednesday evening is not only likely to be visible from southern Utah but also has the potential to create a phenomenon known as a “space jellyfish” because of the timing of the liftoff.

The rocket carrying a group of Starlink internet satellites is currently scheduled to launch from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California at 8:48 p.m. MDT. SpaceX said in a media statement on the launch that for viewers in Utah, Nevada and Arizona, there is the potential for what is known as a “space jellyfish” effect.

In what is a visual phenomenon, rather than anything caused by the rocket, the sun’s illumination of the rocket plume creates a bright glow that looks like a bulbous, jellyfish-like shape against the darker sky. The color can range from bright white to orange or even pink depending on the sunlight and atmospheric conditions.

The launch will have a 53-degree, southeastern trajectory that will allow people throughout southern Utah to see it.

Read the entire story at St. George News.



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