Did You See That? Bright Light in the SouthCoast Sky Explained
Reports of a bright, shooting star were popping up all over the SouthCoast on Tuesday night, but was it actually a star?
If you noticed a bright light moving across the sky, no, it wasn’t a star. It was a space launch originating from Virginia and making itself known in the Massachusetts sky.
The “Virginia is for Launch Lovers” Mission
The launch was called the “Virginia is for Launch Lovers” mission by Rocket Lab, a space company that delivers launch services, spacecraft, satellite components and on-orbit management.
Tuesday night’s launch was Rocket Lab’s first Electron launch from Launch Complex 2 at Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport within NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility.
According to Rocket Lab’s website, “The facility is a launch pad developed to support Electron missions from U.S. soil for government and commercial customers.”
The mission launched three separate satellites for a radio frequency geospatial analytics company called Hawkeye 360.
A Beautiful Result of the Launch
The satellites streaking across the night sky produced a beautiful, trailing blue light that caught peoples’ attention.
Mike Patts was doing security at Plimoth Patuxet Museums when he saw the light.
“I came around the corner on a golf cart and saw it,” he said. “I thought to myself, ‘Well, this is cool.’ I had seen a SpaceX rocket while on the highway, but never seen one just standing there.”
Michael Snow of Michael Snow Photography was ready with his camera. He had heard about the launch prior and made sure to capture an incredible image.
“I was at Duxbury Beach in Duxbury,” he said. “I had seen a report last week about this launch coming up. I was watching in the sky and I saw it appear out of the south.”
Thanks to the quick work of Patts, Snow and many others, the rest of the world can see just how cool technology can be when it flies across the sky.
The space launch isn't the only exciting thing lighting up the SouthCoast sky lately. Did you hear about the green comet making its first pass-through in 50,000 years?