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It's a bird, a plane... my bad, that was very corny. Anyways, SpaceX, the private California-based aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company, is having a good year. On Friday night at around 5:30 p.m., the company launched a rocket, a Falcon 9, from Vandenberg Air Force Base and a lot of people in the Los Angeles area, including Jaden Smith and the much older Tony Hawk were extremely confused.
The weird, extraterrestrial sight was caused by the rocket meeting the cold air. "Water vapor from the aircraft engine exhaust is immediately exposed to very cold temperatures at very high altitudes. The impurities in the exhausts and the very cold temperatures are the perfect recipe for a condensation trail," meteorologist and Forbes contributor Marshall Shepherd explained.
Instead of giving a straight-forward scientific explanation, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk leaned into the alien conspiracy theories with a tweet that jokingly implicated North Korea.
Nuclear alien UFO from North Korea pic.twitter.com/GUIHpKkkp5— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 23, 2017
A lot of civilians and celebrity non-scientist took to social media to express their confusion. Check out more footage and pictures from the launch below:
uh ... pic.twitter.com/MrqKgZArk7— Don Cheadle (@DonCheadle) December 23, 2017
I’m calling bullshit on SpaceX’s excuse. That shit’s a UFO and there’s been others that have been seen that are just like it!!— Demi Lovato (@ddlovato) December 23, 2017
Big wow. 4K from my Mavic Pro over Alhambra CA of the SpaceX Iridium 4 launch - https://t.co/rpZGqd0NVq - Rocket shows up at 42 seconds.— Doug Ellison (@doug_ellison) December 23, 2017
Video footage of @SpaceX Launch that sent California into a frenzy of #UFO excitement tonight, compliments of @UrFriendKatie tonight! #UFOs #ufosighting #Rockets #spacexlaunch pic.twitter.com/g9F5xyrtYQ— KNEKT (@KNEKTtv) December 23, 2017
This is the best video I've seen so far of the #spacexlaunch.— Red T Raccoon (@RedTRaccoon) December 23, 2017
Elon Musk sure knows how to advertise #SpaceX and his #Falcon9.
This is the view over the Phoenix market.#rocketlaunch @azfamily pic.twitter.com/d5aRqIC4tO
Earlier this week in kind of related news, Musk caused yet another conflagration when he accidentally tweeted out his phone number while apparently trying to DM John Carmack, the chief technology officer of the Facebook-owned virtual reality company Oculus. Never a dull moment with Musk.