By Tim Binnall
Residents of Northern California were struck with wonder on Wednesday evening when a weird glowing cloud appeared in the sky. The odd aerial enigma reportedly popped up around 5:30 at night and was spotted by numerous people who were baffled by what it could have been. As is often the case, many of these witnesses quickly took to their social media accounts to share pictures of the strange formation.
Speculation as to what created the curvy cloud centered around the possibility that it came from a rocket launch, specifically one that had been planned for around that time from nearby Vandenberg Air Force Base. However, officials at the facility squashed that theory when they revealed that the event had actually been scrubbed. Another idea bandied about online was that perhaps the puzzling anomaly was somehow created by the Soyuz capsule that returned to Earth from the ISS on Wednesday. And, of course, others argued that the cloud was caused by aliens.
These theories eventually fell by the wayside when scientists stepped forward with a solution to the mystery. According to astronomers, the unique-looking formation was created by a meteor burning up as it entered the Earth's atmosphere and is known as a noctilucent cloud. This explanation was borne out by additional video footage of the event from different angles which clearly showed a meteor streaking across the sky.