A Russian SL4 Rocket body seen over California and Las Vegas made people wonder about the mysterious light in the night sky, reports NBC Southern California. It turns out that the streaking lights weren’t a plane on fire, as some presumed, nor was the light in the sky a UFO. As seen on videos from the publication’s page, the bright lights brought comments from those on the ground who wondered if the cluster of seemingly shooting stars, which made people curse out loud and wonder if the streaks were Santa Claus in the sky, was, in fact, a UFO. Others thought the lights were the result of a comet because they were so super-bright in the sky.
— rekomone (@Rekomone) December 23, 2015
Instead, the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California announced that it was a Russian SL4 rocket body, not a UFO. That didn’t stop folks on social media from speculating that the coming full moon for Christmas for the first time since 1977 was bringing something amazing when Californians and Nevadans saw mysterious lights flashing in the sky, which they claim could’ve been a UFO.
— BA®®Y™ (@SteeleSoldier) December 23, 2015
Some called them fireballs while others called them UFOs. Astronomy experts say that the public shouldn’t be surprised upon seeing such things since the universe is a marvel. What stargazers thought might have been a meteor that lit up the skies of Las Vegas and California on December 22 also lit up Twitter and other social media with buzz over what could’ve been a UFO but turned out to be space junk.
UPDATE: The object over Las Vegas sky can possibly be a meteor or space debris (
As reported by Heavy, the gallery of photos and videos from the December 22 incident that one U.S. Strategic Command official called the debris from the Russian rocket breaking up in space caused concern about the strange fireball in the sky, especially in light of terrorism fears.
— Brandi Stankovic (@brandiluv) December 23, 2015
Witnesses report that the Russian space junk moved very fast as it streaked across the skies. The so-called UFO appeared to streak sideways and break apart or fall downward, based on the reports on social media. Various areas across both Las Vegas and California cities reported seeing the fireball, including Bakersfield, Laughlin, Sacramento, and beyond. Reports of witnesses as far as Mesquite, Cedar City, and Pasadena came in as well.
Folks as far north as Reno, Nevada, reported also seeing what they thought was a fireball or UFO. It isn’t the first time a fireball has lit up the skies over California and other western states and caused concern with the public. On November 7, a light appeared above the California skies, as reported by the Inquisitr, that caused celebrities like Khloe Kardashian to wonder if it was a UFO over California.
CNN debunked the UFO theories when they reported that it was actually the Navy test-firing a missile, but that didn’t stop UFO enthusiasts from wondering if a missile was really the source of the light. Since UFO technically stands for “unidentified flying object,” the mysterious streaks of light were actually representative of a UFO until they were deemed to be the Russian rocket space junk debris.
— Inquisitr News (@theinquisitr) November 8, 2015
Folks on Twitter are still buzzing about the fireball over California and Las Vegas that was captured on several smartphone cameras. Whether deemed a UFO, meteor, fireball, or clearly space junk, the streaking lights in the sky definitely caught the attention of those on the ground. On Twitter, tweets labeled UFO posit various theories about the light in the California sky.
[Airman 1st Class Ian Dudley/U.S. Air Force via AP]