When SpaceX launched a rocket carrying an Argentinian Earth-observation satellite from California, both the night sky and social media lit up.
People as far away as Phoenix and Sacramento posted photos of the space launch on Sunday night. It was the first time SpaceX landed a first-stage booster back at its launch site at Vandenberg Air Force Base, about 130 miles (209 kilometers) northwest of Los Angeles.
The Air Force warned residents on the central California coast they might see multiple engine burns by the first stage and hear one or more sonic booms as it returned.
But many were taken by surprise when the launch illuminated the sky, wondering what the otherworldly-looking site was. Some speculated it was a comet or an alien aircraft.
Source: The Associated Press