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Sky Spectacular Put On by AF Missile Launch

October 29, 1987

The Air Force launched an unarmed Minuteman II missile from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Santa Barbara County, resulting in a spectacular contrail in the sky that was visible over much of the state Wednesday evening.

The so-called "twilight phenomenon" was caused when frozen particles of unburned propellant and water reflected the high-altitude sunlight, an Air Force spokesman said.

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