Light above Reno likely 'meteor or space debris'

By  | 

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - A strange light was seen above Reno Wednesday night.

The National Weather Service in Reno tweeted at approximately 8:00 p.m. December 19, 2018, "Based upon several videos and reports, it appears as though the bright light in the sky seen at approximately 5:34 PM PST was likely a meteor or space debris entering the upper atmosphere."

A rocket launch was scheduled for December 19, 2018 at 5:44 p.m. at Vandenberg Air Force Base, but was scrubbed minutes before launch, according to the National Weather Service. It was supposed to be the launch of a spy satellite from the Central California base.

A hydrogen leak in one engine halted the launch only minutes before takeoff from Vandenberg Air Force Base Wednesday evening. The launch was reset for Thursday, but has since been moved to December 30.

It's the fourth time the launch was postponed in the past two weeks. The rocket will carry a classified satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office.

Vandenberg's sunset launches can be seen for hundreds of miles and about the time of the planned launch, folks in Sacramento, the San Francisco Bay Area and even farther south reported seeing a strange, shining, cloudlike squiggle in the sky.

Astronomers say it wasn't a rocket launch but probably a meteor entering the atmosphere.

Launches from the base northwest of Los Angeles can light up the sky for hundreds of miles.

The launch also was scrubbed Tuesday because of high winds and on Dec. 7 and Dec. 8 because of technical problems.

The three-booster Delta IV Heavy rocket that will carry the satellite was built by United Launch Alliance, a conglomerate of Lockheed Martin and Boeing. ULA has launched 27 payloads for the National Reconnaissance Office over the past 12 years.

Photo courtesy KOLO viewer Paul