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Early risers in Southwest awed by missile contrail (+video)

Published: Thursday, Sept. 13 2012 11:41 a.m. MDT

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.  (ABC15, Associated Press) 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. (ABC15, Associated Press)

PHOENIX — Some early risers across the Southwest saw a 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 parts of southern Colorado, Arizona, Utah and Nevada just before sunrise and prompted 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. MDT 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.

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