Southwest residents awed by N.M. missile contrail
Published: September 13, 2012 02:37PM
Updated: September 13, 2012 11:10AM
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In this video frame grab provided by ABC15 in Phoenix, the contrail of a Juno ballistic missile fired from Fort Wingate near Gallup, N.M., reflects early morning sunlight high above New Mexico Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012. The twisting cloud-like formation, visible in Phoenix and Las Vegas just before sunrise, prompted hundreds of calls and emails to area television stations. The Juno missile, fired at 6:30 a.m. MDT, was then targeted by an advanced version of the Patriot missile fired from the U.S. Army's White Sands Missile Range. (AP Photo/ABC15)

People across the Southwest, including Utah, got an early morning show in the sky, courtesy of missiles fired from New Mexico that left a brilliant white contrail.

The twisting cloud-like formation was visible in southern Colorado, Phoenix, Salt Lake City and Las Vegas just before sunrise and led to hundreds of calls and emails to area television stations.

A spokesman for the U.S. Army’s White Sands Missile Range tells The Associated Press the contrail was from a Juno ballistic missile that was fired at 6:30 a.m. Thursday from Fort Wingate near Gallup, N.M. The Juno missile was then targeted by an advanced version of the Patriot missile fired from White Sands.

The rising sun backlit the Juno missile’s contrail and provided a spectacular morning sight for early risers across the region.