Wednesday, 26 June, 2019

Spy satellite launch gets scrubbed? Boo! Meteor explodes in California skies? Yay!

Northern California meteor The trail left by a meteor burning up in the atompshere- courtesy of Kevin Janet Borjon Reedy
Sandra Phillips | 21 December, 2018, 00:58

Reports of the fiery display flooded social media, leaving locals to ponder its source. The launch was first delayed by five minutes, then it was scrubbed altogether less than 10 minutes to takeoff. The National Weather Service Bay Area referred to it as a "cloud feature" and said they saw it from their office.

Spaceflight Now reported that the scrub was prompted by a suspected hydrogen leak in the port booster engine section of the Delta IV Heavy rocket.

Southern Californians missed out on another colorful display in the sky Wednesday when a Delta IV rocket launch at Vandenberg Air Force Base was again cancelled minutes before liftoff.

"The team is prepping for a 24-hour turnaround on Thursday, Dec. 20, from Space Launch Complex 6 at Vandenberg Air Force Base", they added.

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The bright squiggle in the sky may have mystified some, but savvy folks who spotted the flash recognized it as the signature of an exploding meteor, also known as a bolide. "But very likely just a bright meteor".

Dozens of people called and emailed the KPIX 5 newsroom asking what the phenomenon was, but so far the reason behind the lights remains a mystery.

Fireball sighting reports can be filed with the American Meteor Society, which has already received more than 100 reports (and scores of photos).

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