Social media went nuts Saturday night because of reports of a bright light that appeared in the sky over the West Coast. The light appeared to be trailing an object before eventually burning out over the San Francisco Bay Area.
A Navy spokesperson told The San Diego Union-Tribune the lights were from a test conducted by submarine USS Kentucky deployed in the Pacific. At approximately 6 p.m., the USS Kentucky fired an unarmed Lockheed Martin Trident II missile.
Local news outlets first suggested the light may have been the result of a meteor shower.
There were other reports that it was a plane or a rocket.
Giant blue light from this plane/rocket/ship over San Francisco. Lit up the sky. pic.twitter.com/SVBSUrlzjZ— Biz Carson (@bizcarson) November 8, 2015
What was that bright light in the sky? It's being described as a streak of light that burst into a display of blue pic.twitter.com/yVb60ntCpH— San Diego 6, The CW (@SanDiego6) November 8, 2015
Similar occurrences have been noted when the US armed services conduct exercises in local airspace. Reuters reported late Saturday afternoon that nighttime flights into and out of Los Angeles International Airport would be diverted away from airspace over the Pacific Ocean for precisely that reason.
The US military and FAA usually do not disclose the specific nature of such exercises beyond an acknowledgment that it happened, but Reuters reports that airspace over the Pacific was "activated" Friday night for the naval exercise. It's expected to remain off-limits to other aircraft until Thursday.
Here's a map of the US military operating areas in the Pacific:
Here's a video of what Californians saw:
Amanda Macias contributed to this report.
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