Icelanders were shocked and amazed to see the skies above them light up last night, not with the usual aurora borealis, but instead with a strange moving object that cruised across the night.
Many individuals took to social media to share this strange sight, including Magnús Sveinsson who captured a video of the phenomenon while walking his dogs in Hafnarfjörður.
Of course this was not in fact an actual UFO but instead a rocket that was launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California yesterday. The spacecraft, Landsat-9, is the latest earth-observation satellite in the Landsat programme, which has been running for almost 50 years. The project is managed as a collaboration between NASA and the US Geological Survey (USGS) and has huge scientific applications, from monitoring animal behaviour to recording climate change.
The strange ‘veil’ in front of the spacecraft was actually excess fuel that it was expelling. This was done to reduce pollution when the aircraft’s remains eventually fell into the sea.
The rocket was visible over much of Europe last night, with the sun illuminating the fuel as it was released and causing the slightly spooky, but beautiful view.
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