Weird light in Arizona sky is from SpaceX launch

Amy Powell

"The rocket took off from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 7:21 p.m. and landed safely back on Earth". This was SpaceX's first land landing on the West Coast.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch on Sunday night carrying an Argentine satellite sparked some confusion on social media about a bright light traveling across the Southern California sky. Once again, the light is from a SpaceX launch.

Since landing its first booster back on Earth in 2015, SpaceX has fine-tuned the inspection and refurbishment process. After cancelling out a velocity of roughly 2 kilometers per second in the wrong direction, B1048 dropped nearly straight down from a peak altitude of ~50 km to the landing zone, punctuated by a reentry burn used to protect the rocket from the brunt of atmospheric reentry heating. SpaceX has several other missions planned for this year, including the Falcon 9 launches of another 10 Iridium Next satellites, Es'hailSat's Es'hail-2, and the U.S. Air Force's first GPS-3 satellite.

A look at Landing Zone 4, SpaceX's newest rocket landing site, at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

The mission's main goal is to gather soil moisture information.

Those who knew they were watching a satellite launch posted videos they captured of the stunning spectacle, including one taken over the downtown Los Angeles skyline and a timelapse from Kern County.

SpaceX has a second CONAE satellite, Saocom-1B, that it is also tasked with launching. "Flying both constellations along the same orbit supports a rapid response by providing SAR information in emergency situations". Its acronym is short for Satelite Argentino de Observacion Con Microondas.

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