• Atlas V Rocket

Atlas V Rocket (Photo : Wikimedia)

A massive sphere of light seen over the Miami Airport on Wednesday has led some residents of Miami to believe that it was an unidentified flying object (UFO).

Many residents even took videos of the passing big blue comet-shaped light using their mobile phones as proof of what they saw. One resident, MarEugenia Pereira Quidiello, uploaded on YouTube the video taken by her daughter at 5 a.m., reports Elite Reader.

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Since then, the video has gone viral with about 4 million views and 124,000 shares, which is not surprising since UFO videos attract many people who believe aliens are roaming Earth.

IFL Science, however, debunked the UFO theory of believers in extraterrestrial beings. At about the same time that the Miami residents saw the strange light, the U.S. Navy launched its Mobile User Objective System (MUOS)-4 spacecraft at Cape Canaveral in Florida. It was the United Launch Alliance Atlas V Rocket launched at 6:18 a.m.

The elongated shape that Miami residents saw was the combination of the pre-dawn light and atmospheric conditions that the rocket's plume formed while climbing into space. The upward travel of the rocket, in some videos, seems like the spacecraft is moving horizontally across the sky. But it is just an illusion since the rocket was really traveling into the distance.

It is the fourth satellite launched by the U.S. Navy meant to improve ground communications for U.S. forces. The spacecraft would be stationed 35,900 kilometers above Earth. It will remain in a geosynchronous orbit, or same position above the ground.

The U.S. Navy launched MUOS-3 in January 2015 and MUOS-2 and MUOS-1 in 2013 and 2012, respectively.