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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – South Floridians who were outside early Wednesday morning may have seen a strange light streaking across the sky and wondered “what the heck is that?”

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CBS4 viewers from the Palm Beaches to the Keys snapped pictures of the white light with what looked like a twin billowing smoke plumes behind it.

A UFO? A comet? A strange visitor from another planet?

Nope to all of the above. It was a rocket.

The United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket blasted off from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station just before dawn. On board was a U.S. Navy communications satellite.

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“Built by Lockheed Martin, this U.S. military spacecraft will provide narrowband tactical communications designed to significantly improve ground communications for U.S. forces on the move,” according to

Taken by a student waiting for the school bus in Countrywalk.

Taken by a student waiting for the school bus in Countrywalk.

CBS4 chief meteorologist Craig Setzer says the rocket was highly visible because the sun was hitting the rocket exhaust above the horizon while we were still in darkness before sunrise.

Here is video posted on a CBS4 viewer’s Twitter account

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