Photos: SpaceX rocket lights up California sky, baffles onlookers

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, AccuWeather staff writer
December 23, 2017, 6:06:49 AM EST

A SpaceX rocket launching 10 satellites into orbit caused a social media frenzy when it soared across the California sky on Friday evening.

Skygazers were mesmerized by the streak of light, which was visible at sunset across parts of the United States West Coast.

Photos and videos quickly flooded social media, as onlookers speculated about the cause of the flying object.

SpaceX founder and designer Elon Musk joked about the rocket on Twitter, calling it a "nuclear alien UFO from North Korea."

Nuclear alien UFO from North Korea

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk)

Unbeknownst to many, the Falcon 9 rocket was part of a scheduled launch from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in Santa Barbara County, California.

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Calls of concern from unsuspecting onlookers prompted the Los Angeles Fire Department to release a media advisory.

"Mysterious light in the sky is reported to be as a result of Vandenburg Air Force Base launching rocket to put satellite into space. No further details," it read.

The launch was the final one for SpaceX in 2017.

When I initially saw this I thought it was a comet or the Navy conducting a missile launch.

— Morgan Cousins (@morgantahler_)
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