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Missile test from submarine seen in southwest, central Virginia on Tuesday night

It wasn’t a bird, plane, UFO or meteor that some of you saw

Samie Johnston - North Carolina (Copyright 2021 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

If you were out enjoying the nice weather Tuesday evening, you may have seen something odd in the sky.

10 News Meteorologist Justin McKee first tweeted about it when a viewer sent him a photo from Bedford County.

At first sight, this looked like a fireball or a meteor. The vapor trail would make you suspicious of that though. Upon further review and research, Justin found it was actually the “Trident-II SLBM missile test from a submarine off the coast of Florida,” as he later tweeted.

Come to find out, there were mariner warnings prior to the launch, as shown here.

The trajectory of the launch took the missile off the coast of Florida and away from us. So, how could we see it?

This is similar to how we see these vapor trails after launches at Wallops Island or at Cape Canaveral.

It was dark here. However, the sun was still low in the sky over the West Coast. As the missile launched upward, the sunlight caught onto its vapor trail and made it visible to us.

How we saw the missile launch Tuesday night

If you caught any pictures or videos Tuesday evening, feel free to send those our way!


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