Edit: ignore this. It's probably just the RCS thrusters...
I saw what I think were two massive discharge events (arcing) between the Tesla and the camera rig. The Tesla was traversing the Van Allen belts which is the worst case scenario for spacecraft charging, and parts of it is going in and out of shadow, making it even more prone to differential surface charging. The effect occurs when two surfaces have sufficiently large potential difference (typically thousands of Volts) that the discharge happens through the plasma.
You should see two nice broad multicoloured events there, roughly 10 seconds apart.
Given that it is in a vacuum, what would the arc be reflecting off to give that effect?
It seems more likely to me that it's just exhaust from the RCS thrusters being used to reorient it.
To be fair, I had several massive discharge events during the entire launch and landing sequence.
I think you can also see lightning at
The arc would not be reflecting off anything, it is the source of the light. Space is filled with plasma (and very intensely so in the Van Allen belt). The bluish light is probably coming from oxygen ions excited by the large currents and then de-excited and emitting light. O+ is a popular ion from 300 to 750 km, but I don't know exactly where this is, above it He+ and H+ dominate. It might as well excite neutrals, so maybe Nitrogen isn't completely out of the picture. The bluish light sort of suggest it.
I heard someone saying that the current spin on the spacecraft was not intended, so do they even have RCS thrusters? They don't seem to be to worried about going exactly to a location, since they decided to overshoot Mars orbit and go to the asteroid belt orbit.
I experienced a massive discharge when the two huge boosters gently touched down.
I think you know full well that I barely understand a word of that, but the falcon second stage does definitely have thrusters, nitrogen ones to be precise (Otherwise how could they orient it correctly for the third burn?) and firing them in a vacuum looks an awful lot like the effect in this video.
Video linked by /u/-SQB-:Title Channel Published Duration Likes Total Views megametalbr 2009-03-25 0:02:48 953+ (96%) 215,617
RIGGS with their song Radar Rider at the beginning of the...
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