SpaceX Rocket Launch Flares Over Southern California

StoryfulWeatherPublished: December 23, 2017146 views
Published: December 23, 2017

A strange streak lit up the sky over Southern California on Friday, December 22, stopping traffic and leading some residents to marvel and others to worry about a UFO or even a nuclear bomb attack. Actually, it was a SpaceX rocket taking off from Vandenberg Air Force Base, north of Santa Barbara, California carrying ten satellites for the Iridium constellation.

The hashtag #aliens trended briefly on Twitter in Los Angeles as the spectacular light show spooked social media users. Social media users from across California, Arizona and Nevada shared accounts of witnessing the launch of the Falcon 9 rocket. SpaceX’s last launch of the year was on a mission to carry an Iridium-4 satellite into orbit. This footage was shared by Twitter user @WallyAction stressing that he captured this phenomenon on camera.

How would you react if you were to witness this phenomenon without knowing what the deal was? Luckily, the Los Angeles Fire Department released a statement saying the "mysterious light in the sky is reported to be the result of Vandenberg Air Force Base launching rocket to put satellite into space."

This launch sure left behind a trail of mystery and wonder as it soared into space. Witnesses report that the Falcon 9 booster lifted off from the air force base carrying the latest batch of satellites for Iridium Communications.The launch in the setting sun created a shining, billowing streak that was widely seen throughout Southern California and as far away as Phoenix.

The Los Angeles Fire Department issued an advisory that the "mysterious light in the sky" was from the rocket launch.Jimmy Golen, a sports writer for The Associated Press in Boston who was in Southern California for the holidays, said he and other tourists saw the long, glowing contrail while touring Warner Bros. studio in the Los Angeles suburb of Burbank.

The same rocket carried Iridium satellites into the orbit in June and landed on a floating platform in the Pacific Ocean. However, this time, the rocket was allowed to plunge into the sea. Elon Musk's aerospace company kicked off its final mission of 2017 leaving onlookers dazzled with confusion!

Credit: Twitter/WallyAction via Storyful

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