SpaceX Launches Rocket

The Southern California night sky lit up as a satellite exited earth


Natalie Simon/ Staff Photographer

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket brightens up the dark sky as multiple engines burn upon landing.

“Sonic boom warning. This won’t be subtle.” 

Elon Musk posted that tweet on  Saturday, Oct. 6, to give people in Central California a warning.

At 7:20 pm, the next day, the night sky bloomed, causing thousands of people in Southern California to look up in awe at the sky. In a split second, some things flew out and separated from the spear like object in the sky. 

As people pulled out their phones to capture this moment, they asked around about what could have caused it to happen. Some assumed it was a rocket, while others believed it was aliens.

The cause of the light show was the launch of the SAOCOM 1A satellite on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex-4E. “Local residents may [have seen] the first stage of the Falcon 9 returning to Vandenberg AFB, including multiple engine burns associated with landing,” announced Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

The large light caused by the Falcon 9 dissipated quickly and in approximately 10 minutes, the rocket became nearly invisible and the nights sky returned to normal.