Monday-Friday
6A        Morning Edition
9A        Music
3P        Fresh Air
4P        All Things Considered
6:30P  The Daily

7P        Eclectic After Dark
banner101 3

Jellyfish are a common sight along the Florida coast — but people who watched the latest rocket launch from the Kennedy Space Center were treated to a unique sight.

Friday morning's SpaceX launch generated a visual phenomenon known as a "space jellyfish," rewarding people who got up early to see the Falcon 9 rocket's launch with a striking spectacle: an ethereal cloud of illuminated gases, highlighted against the pre-dawn darkness.

The space jellyfish phenomenon occurs when a rocket lifts off in the hours around dawn or dusk. A spectator might be standing in total darkness — but as the craft reaches high altitudes, the sun's rays illuminate the plume of gases in its trail. The effect resembles a jellyfish medusa's bell and tentacles.

Friday's effect varied depending on where people were standing when they saw the rocket. As images posted online show, some observers saw a horizontal streak of silver, while others saw what looked like a billowing luminous cloud.

While the space jellyfish effect only evokes the animal, actual jellyfish have also visited space. In 1991, NASA sent thousands of small jellyfish into orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia, to study how they react to microgravity.

  • SoCo Calendar
  • Latest News
  • Right Now
  • Weather
  • Earthquakes
  • First News
 
 
Read More
 
thumbnail FirstNews logoA weekday early morning podcast that offers a first look at the top local news stories and weather forecast you need to start your day.

Sonoma County news stories featuring the latest in breaking news, county government, elections, environment, cultural happenings, and updates on your communities, from Petaluma to Cloverdale, and from Sonoma to Bodega Bay, and everyplace in between.

Subscribe to the Sonoma County First News podcast through our website, the NorCal Mobile App, NPR Podcasts, NPR One, iTunes/Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. 

 
Read More

Northern California
Public Media Newsletter

Get the latest updates on programs and events.