MIAMI – People from South Florida to the Bahamas were asking about a strange sight in the sky on Tuesday night.
Some thought they were seeing a UFO, but it turns out it was actually a missile.
To figure out what was going on over the Florida Atlantic coast, Local 10′s Layron Livingston went (virtually) across the pond and spoke with Dr. Marco Langbroek.
Dr. Langbroek works in the astronomy department at Leiden University in the Netherlands, focusing on space situational awareness. He helps the Dutch Air Force develop space tracking technology.
“Of course, they always first think its aliens and, as we know, it’s never aliens,” said Dr. Langbroek. “It moves very fast. At certain points, it goes seven kilometers per second, and it goes into a very high trajectory.”
More than 7500 miles high, across a distance of nearly 8,000 miles, a Trident II missile launched from a submarine.
Dr. Langbroek was tweeting about what took many by surprise two days prior. He even created maps, showing where it would happen, just east of Port Canaveral.
“The US government and military has about 10 submarines equipped with these missiles, and every time the submarine has been in dock for maintenance, etcetera, and goes to sea, again, it has to test whether their system still works, and part of this test is test firing one, or more of these missiles,” he explained.
The government also sent out a Hazardous Operation warning and coordinated to keep ships out of the drop zone area.
“It’s a very spectacular sight,” said Dr. Langbroek, who said the test missile went down north of Ascension Island in the South Atlantic.