Californians Baffled By An (Un)identified Celestial Object Piercing The Sky

Residents of West Coast were able to unleash their imagination this weekend thanks to an unidentified flying object. On Saturday, December 23, locals took to social media to share their photos of a peculiar, jellyfish-like thing piercing the California sky.

According to the Huffington Post, people reported seeing "a burning comet flying southwards across the sky": "It looked like a missile and then turned into a condom-shaped plume of smoke as it appeared to split in two."

Have a good trip, Falcon 9!

But don't start planning an alien welcoming party just yet. The explanation for this phenomenon is quite simple: what was thought to be an extraterrestrial invasion is actually the launch of the Falcon 9 rocket orchestrated by SpaceX from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Santa Barbara County.

SpaceX, founded by Elon Musk, has planned to send 81 Iridium Next communication satellites to space, which means they still have four similar launches to go. According to a SpaceX spokesperson:

"Iridium Next will replace the company's existing global constellation in one of the largest technology upgrades ever completed in space.

It represents the evolution of critical communications infrastructure that governments and organizations worldwide rely upon to drive business, enable connectivity, empower disaster-relief efforts and more."

For many uninformed citizens, however, the beam in the sky meant only one thing – aliens! So much so that #aliens hashtag was the most trending one that night in California and emergency services were having a blast with concerned onlookers calling to report a potential invasion.

Rédactrice en chef de Cheese et ex-Sorbonnarde, on ne m’a pas demandé si j’aimais le fromage avant d’arriver ici. Mais j’aime bien le fromage, donc tout va bien.