When the November Saturday night sky exploded with blue light around 7 p.m. PST residents of Southern California turned to social media to make sense of the phenomenon.
Lights over sports fields, seen from Temecula, and as far away as Arizona and Nevada led people to question the source.
Meteor Shower to military launch testing spread gossip channels, but it was the report of Naval Cmdr. Ryan Perry with the Navy’s Third Fleet who had the answers.
Perry stated that the Navy Strategic Systems Programs conducted a scheduled, classified Trident II (D5) missile test flight at sea from USS Kentucky.
His full statement follows:
“Navy Strategic Systems Programs conducted scheduled Trident II (D5) missile test flight at sea from USS Kentucky, an Ohio Class SSBN, in the Pacific Test Range off the coast of Southern California. The tests were part of a scheduled, on-going system evaluation test. Launches are conducted on a frequent, recurring basis to ensure the continued reliability of the system. Each test activity provides valuable information about our systems, thus contributing to assurance in our capabilities.
The missile was not armed. Strategic Systems Programs does not routinely announce missile testing. Information regarding the test launch of Trident II (D5) missiles is classified prior to the launch.”
Valley News photographer Shane Gibson captured the scene. Share your sky photos with Valley News.