A bright light was seen across the sky over California early Tuesday morning, February 14, 2017, and later identified as a Navy missile test. The object appeared in the sky for at least 45 seconds. Many said it changed trajectories.
The event was described as a bright light with a large, glowing tail that slowly moved across the early morning sky.
Navy Strategic Systems Programs spokesman John Daniels said an Ohio-class submarine off the coast of California, south of the Bay Area, launched two Trident II D-5 missiles, one at 03:30 and another at 06:20 local time.
It was the latter one that was seen by many people who shared images and speculated what it might be.
“It was part of a routine missile test that has been planned for a couple of years,” Daniels said. “This was not in response to any ongoing world activities.”
The Trident II is a three-stage missile with a range of 6 500 km (4 000 miles).
Daniels said Bay Area residents likely saw stage one, which lasts about a minute, and possibly part of stage two. By stage three, the missile is well-beyond what the naked eye can see, he said, as quoted by East Bay Times.
Featured image: Bright light over California on February 14, 2017. Credit: Jason Poon