The evening twilight skies over southern California lit up on December 22, 2017 when SpaceX launched its Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg AFB. The launch was flawless, and the rocket carried 10 satellites from Iridium Communications into low-Earth orbit. Many people were out, many apparently looked up, and many caught images! Some knew what they were looking at, and some … well, didn’t. Is it still SoCal terminology to say some people freaked out?
And who wouldn’t be surprised, if not concerned, if you didn’t know what was happening and then witnessed this baby going up?
— Maruf Bakhramov (@bmmaruf) December 23, 2017
— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) December 23, 2017
The excellent video below, of the launch and its aftermath, is from Doug Ellison in Alhambra, California. He was clearly prepared.
But, really, some people just didn’t know what they were seeing.
What did I just witness?? pic.twitter.com/JsHfqTsxm0
— Danny United (@dannyunited) December 23, 2017
Who saw this?!? UFO??? pic.twitter.com/SOQuMt4mPi
— Tanner Fox (@tannerfox) December 23, 2017
SpaceX later confirmed a successful launch and deployment of the satellites. Congratulations, SpaceX and all who witnessed this launch!
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) December 23, 2017
Bottom line: SpaceX Falcon 9 launch over southern California December 22, 2017. Photos and video here.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.