The mysterious object in the sky above Los Angles on Saturday night has been identified.
Video of the object soon appeared on Twitter. “Did anyone else in #losangeles see this in the sky tonight around 11pm!? @GriffithObserv what was it? Cool, yet scary! #comet #asteroid #ufo,” asked Twitter user @reelhopelavelle.
The object, however, was quickly explained. “Oooh okay! #MysterySolved it was a #rocket from #vandenberg air force base! Neat!,” @reelhopelavelle tweeted.
The United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket took off from Vandenberg’s Space Launch Complex-3 at 10:49:47 p.m. PDT carrying a payload for the National Reconnaissance Office. “Designated NROL-42, the mission is in support of national security,” explained United Launch Alliance, in a press release.
The launch was ULA’s sixth in 2017. The company’s next launch is scheduled for Oct. 5 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. The mission, which is also for the National Reconnaissance Office, is designated NROL-52.