SpaceX rocket brightens skies over Phoenix area, sparks curiosity, awe

A graphic explaining sonic booms provided by Vandenberg Air Force Base ahead of a planned SpaceX launch on Oct. 7 2018

Meanwhile a huge display of bright green Northern Lights appeared in the skies over Rovaniemi, in the Arctic Circle, on Sunday (October 7) evening.

U.S. Air Force officials warned residents of multiple counties across the Golden State earlier this week that they might hear "one or more sonic booms" during the landing attempt.

The fact that the launch and landing took place near Los Angeles meant there were ample opportunities for Southern Californians to catch the show (and for unwitting observers to register UFO reports). According to CBS News, SpaceX has accomplished 17th successful flight this year including the 44th successful launch in a row. All previous recoveries in California used a drone ship to land boosters out at sea.

"Nope, definitely not aliens, "Garcetti wrote on Twitter as he posted an fantastic photo".

The landing came after SpaceX launched the SAOCOM 1A Earth observation satellite for Argentina's national commission on space activities at 7:21 p.m.

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The Falcon's first stage will then fly back to Vandenberg and set down in a landing zone on the coastal base.

"Vandenberg, LZ-4, the Falcon has landed", a member of SpaceX's launch team reported. The satellite carries an active instrument consisting of a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), which works in the microwave range of the electromagnetic spectrum, particularly the L-band. The satellite is created to provide radar imagery to help emergency responders and monitor the environment, including the collection of soil moisture measurements.

The launch comes just days after Elon Musk was fined $20million and told he must resign as chairman of Tesla after reaching a settlement on fraud charges.

Its name is short for Satelite Argentino de Observacion Con Microondas.

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