PHOENIX -- Residents across the Southwest received an early morning show courtesy of missiles fired from New Mexico that left a brilliant white contrail in the eastern sky.
The twisting cloud-like formation was visible in Phoenix 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 says the contrail was from a Juno ballistic missile that was fired at 6:30 a.m. MDT from Fort Wingate near Gallup, N.M.
Spokesman Drew Hamilton tells The Associated Press 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.