What Is This?

Illustration for article titled What Is This?

Is this a cosmic dove in the skies of California? Maybe the aliens are telling us to chill out. Or perhaps the Holy Ghost went to grab some In-n-Out. Actually, it's the trail of death and war.


That's the trail of an intercontinental ballistic missile launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base. The strange glow is the result of the condensations and expansion of unburned solid fuel particles and the water in the missile trail. Like these:

[Daily Mail]

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I live in Santa Barbara, and I took this one a few years back after a Vandenberg launch. Just a crappy point and shoot... so it's blurry. And work firewall is blocking flickr or something so I had to go through mobile.