UFO or Navy missile? Everybody lost it last Saturday night when a navy missile shot across the sky leaving a mysterious blue trail. The light appeared to be trailing an object before eventually burning out over the San Francisco Bay area. Apparently, the lights were from a test conducted by submarine deployed in the Pacific. Around 6 p.m., the USS Kentucky fired an unarmed Lockheed Martin Trident II missile. A video was recorded for viewers to watch again.
The lights were first suggested as a result of a meteor shower by local news outlets. Witnesses across the state and several states over speculated that the object streaking across the sky was part of the annual Taurid meteor shower, which is at its peak and is known to produce fireballs. This claim was refuted by astronomer Phil Plait in which he stated that the light was “moving far too slowly to be a meteor, and the behavior was all wrong.”
To add, Brian Keating, an astrophysicist at UC San Diego told the SD Union Tribune, “The Taurid meteors would be coming from the east, and this light came from the west. We’d also be more likely to see meteors about midnight, and the flash came near sunset.”
Apparently, this was not the first time the US armed services conducted exercise in local airspace without alerting the public. During this test, the Los Angeles International Airport was notified that nighttime flights were to be diverted away from airspace over the Pacific Ocean for this precise reason.
According to the San Diego Times, Commander Ryan Perry with the Navy’s Third Fleet said, “The test was part of a scheduled, on-going system evaluation test. Each test activity provides valuable information about our systems, thus contributing to assurance in our capabilities.”
So just make sure not to freak next time it happens. Be cool.
(via Business Insider)