'So Freakin' Pretty': Chinese Rocket Caused Wednesday Night Light Show

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Screen capture of Wednesday night rocket re-entry as seen in Utah. (Matt Holt via Twitter)

Authorities say the mysterious object that streaked through California skies Wednesday night was not:

  • The beginning of The Rapture
  • Hillary Clinton's email server
  • Donald Trump's ego
  • Related in any way to Pokémon Go

The Pentagon's Strategic Command says the object, which became the focus of many an entertaining online video, was the remains of a Chinese rocket launched about five weeks ago.

Stratcom officials told The Associated Press and Los Angeles Times among other outlets that the Long March 7 rocket re-entered the atmosphere at 9:36 p.m. PDT Wednesday.

What ensued were gasps of delight and amazement from the smartphone-wielding multitudes who happened to be outdoors at the time.

Representative sample:


"That is so freakin' pretty!" Twitter user @24cdawg recorded himself saying from an unknown location in the western United States. "That is so cool. ... That is the coolest thing that I've ever seen in my life!"

His video is below.