A naval test fire off the Southern California coast created a light that coursed across the sky shortly after dusk on Saturday, authorities said.
Navy Strategic Systems Programs conducted a Trident II (D5) missile test flight at sea from the Kentucky, an Ohio class submarine, in the Pacific Test Range off the coast of Southern California, according to a statement from the Pentagon.
The tests, first reported by the San Diego Union-Tribune, were part of a scheduled, ongoing system evaluation, a Pentagon spokesman told The Times.
Launches are conducted on a frequent, recurring basis to ensure the continued reliability of the system, the spokesman said.
Each test activity provides valuable information about the Navy’s systems, the spokesman said.
The missile was not armed, and information about it was classified prior to the launch.
Witnesses across Southern California and Arizona posted video and reported seeing the light. Many used hashtags such as #ufo and #comet as they speculated about its source.