Bright light spotted over California likely was a meteor, weather service says

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SAN FRANCISCO -- A bright, strange-looking light streaked across Northern California on Wednesday night, its appearance coinciding with a scrapped rocket launch and leaving the Twitterverse asking, "So, what's that in the sky?"

The answer: Probably a meteor.

The phenomenon was spotted over the Lake Tahoe area, the Sacramento Valley and the Bay Area about 5:45 p.m.

A dashcam video posted by Richard Lopez captured the moment the ball of light moved across  the sky as he was sitting in his car at a Stockton intersection.

The light was also spotted from San Francisco.

Twitter user Joel Angel Juárez wrote, "Woah just spotted a huge white streak in the air looking southwest of San Francisco."

It has not been 100 percent identified, however "evidence is growing the object seen was a meteor," according to the National Weather Service Bay Area.

"A meteor can create a very high level cloud called a noctilucent cloud," the weather service said.

Noctilucent clouds were previously observed over Monterey, California in 2011, the National Weather Service said.

They were formed by the launch of the NPOESS Preparatory Project spacecraft from Vandenberg Air Force Base near Santa Barbara.

There was speculation that the cloud-like formations seen Wednesday were also related to a rocket launch at Vandenberg.

However, United Launch Alliance, a launch service provider for national security missions, announced the launch had been scrubbed because of "indications of booster complications."

It was the fourth time United Launch Alliance scrubbed the much-anticipated launch of a Delta IV-Heavy rocket from Vandenberg to carry the NROL-71 satellite into orbit for the National Reconnaissance Office.

The launch has been rescheduled for Thursday.

Many in California are used to seeing strange bursts of light after SpaceX rocket launches but that does not appear to be the case this time.

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