SpaceX rocket launch puts on brilliant light show over Southern California

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
Data pix.

A mysterious white light that appeared over Southern California skies during the Friday evening rush hour, prompting curiosity and questions from the many onlookers who observed it, was from a SpaceX rocket launch, authorities confirmed.

A SpaceX launch is seen from Altadena on Dec. 22, 2017, in a photo taken by a KTLA viewer.

A SpaceX launch is seen from Altadena on Dec. 22, 2017, in a photo taken by a KTLA viewer.

KTLA began receiving numerous phone calls shortly after 5:30 p.m., when a brilliant but slow-moving light -- somewhat resembling a jellyfish-like creature -- appeared in the night sky. Around the same time, the station also received numerous photos and videos showing the object, and a number of Twitter users also posted images as they sought answers.

Multiple local law enforcement agencies have confirmed the flash of light was from the rocket launch, which blasted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base along California's Central Coast.

SpaceX livestreamed the event on Facebook.

Vandenberg Air Force Base announced earlier this week the launch was set for 5:27 p.m. Friday from Space Launch Complex-4. The base said it was the “fourth Iridium mission consisting of 10 satellites on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.”

Space Launch Complex-4 is along the Pacific Ocean coast west of Lompoc in Santa Barbara County, about 140 miles west-northwest of downtown Los Angeles.

The SpaceX launch is the final scheduled one out of Vandenberg this year.

KTLA's Melissa Pamer contributed to this story. 

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.