A bright light traveling across the dark sky Tuesday morning was one of two missile tests conducted by the U.S. Navy over the Pacific Ocean, a Navy official said.
Numerous area residents posted on social media about the trail of light that flashed by at about 6:30 a.m. and many speculated it was a meteor.
Dr. Ryan Orosco, a clinical instructor in otolaryngology at Stanford Health Care posted on Twitter his quick view of the light in Palo Alto early Tuesday morning.
"It looked like it was floating with a glowing mist trailing behind," Orosco said in his tweet.
But U.S. Navy Strategic Systems Programs spokesman John Daniels confirmed that it was the second of two Trident II missile test flights conducted in the Pacific Ocean Tuesday morning.
Both missiles were launched at sea from an Ohio Class submarine, flew over the sea and landed in the sea, Daniels said.
"Flight tests are conducted on a frequent, recurring basis to ensure the continued reliability of the system," Daniels said. "Each test activity provides valuable information about our systems, thus contributing to assurance in our capabilities."
The tests were not in response to any recent world events, Daniels said, or intended to be a demonstration of power. The Navy conducts test flights frequently to determine the reliability of the system, he said.
The sighting Tuesday morning even drew attention from the National Weather Service, which posted photos on Twitter taken by a forecaster of the trails left by the missiles, speculating it was a rocket.