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SpaceX launch lights up Florida sky early Friday morning

Posted at 9:05 AM, Jun 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-29 21:39:29-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla. -- Early risers in Southwest Florida were treated to a fascinating light show in the pre-dawn hours Friday.

Many residents reached out to Fox 4 wondering what the strange sight in the sky was.

At 5:42 a.m., Space X launched its fifteenth commercial resupply mission headed to the International Space Station, using a Falcon 9 rocket to deliver the Dragon spacecraft to the space station.

According to Derek Buzasi, professor of physics and astronomy at Florida Gulf Coast University, the timing of the launch created an eerie effect in the sky over Florida, as the contrails from the rocket were so high up in the sky that they were illuminated by sunlight, even though it was still mostly dark on the ground.

MORE: Photos of the launch from Southwest Florida

MORE: Photos of the launch from the Florida east coast

A similar launch created the same effect over Florida in 2015.

Another launch caused a stir in California in December 2017.

Watch the Space X broadcast of the launch below: