Social media lit up Saturday night because of reports about a bright light that appeared in the sky over the West coast.
According to multiple reports, the light appeared to be trailing an object before eventually burning out. It could be seen from San Diego to the San Francisco Bay Area. Local news outlets first suggested the light may have been the result of a meteor shower.
— Preston Phillips (@PrestonTVNews) November 8, 2015
There were other reports that it was part of a military exercise.
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
San Diego news station NBC 7 later reported the light was the result of a missile test that took place near Point Mugu in coastal southern California.
Similar occurrences have been noted when the US military conducts 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.
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The military and FAA usually do not disclose the nature of the exercises, and did not comment for Reuters, but the wire service reports that airspace over the Pacific Ocean was "activated" Friday night for the military exercise. It's expected to remain off-limits to other aircraft until Thursday.
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