The Glowing Lasso Spotted Over California Bay Area Last Night Was Not an Alien Invasion

Thursday, 20 December 2018 - 11:39AM
Space
Alien Life
Thursday, 20 December 2018 - 11:39AM
The Glowing Lasso Spotted Over California Bay Area Last Night Was Not an Alien Invasion
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Pixabay composite.
With companies like SpaceX lighting up the night skies fairly often, it's hard to know when an ominous shape is science-based or if we should all be running and hiding. Last night over parts of California, people spotted what looked like a glowing cloud floating high above the ground. This time it wasn't the result of a rocket test or some other kind of space launch, leaving residents baffled as to what the unidentified floating object might be.

"It was brighter than a normal cloud, especially at this time of night," a witness who saw the object at some point at 5:30PM on Wednesday told ABC News 7. "It looked kind of like a key almost." "I thought somebody was trying to spell something out in the sky, but I couldn't read what it was," said another witness. Others who posted photos and videos to social media questioned whether or not the flying cloud key was a sign of extraterrestrial visitors. 



In a statement on Twitter, the National Weather Service for the San Francisco Bay Area offered a safer explanation. "Still not 100% certain, but evidence is growing the object seen was a meteor. A meteor can create a very high level cloud called a noctilucent cloud." NWSBayArea linked to a NASA explainer from 2012 that says that noctilucent clouds (or NLCs) have been a mystery since the 19th century. In 2007, NASA launched a mission specifically to learn more about the "night-shining clouds" and how they are formed in the upper atmosphere. "When methane makes its way into the upper atmosphere, it is oxidized by a complex series of reactions to form water vapor," principal investigator of NASA's Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM) mission, James Russell said. "This extra water vapor is then available to grow ice crystals for NLCs." NASA also says that meteor smoke increases the odds of NLCs forming because it gives the water a place to collect and crystalize. 

By this morning, however, ABC 7 reported that Dr. Edwin Krupp, director of the Griffith Observatory, had confirmed that the holiday light show was due to a Bolide meteor. You may recall that Washington state experienced a similar sighting back in March when a Bolide meteor the size of a minivan created a spectacular fireball.

Guess the extraterrestrial invasion will have to wait until after the holidays.

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