New Mexico

Missile launch from Army depot in New Mexico produces white contrail visible across Southwest

  • FILE - In this Sept. 13, 2012 file image from video 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. Authorities across the Southwest are preparing to be inundated with calls and emails from people who might catch a glimpse of the contrail from an early morning missile test Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015. (ABC15 via AP, File)

    FILE - In this Sept. 13, 2012 file image from video 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. Authorities across the Southwest are preparing to be inundated with calls and emails from people who might catch a glimpse of the contrail from an early morning missile test Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015. (ABC15 via AP, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Sept. 13, 2012 file photo from video 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. Authorities across the Southwest are preparing to be inundated with calls and emails from people who might catch a glimpse of the contrail from an early morning missile test Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015. (ABC15 via AP, File)

    FILE - In this Sept. 13, 2012 file photo from video 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. Authorities across the Southwest are preparing to be inundated with calls and emails from people who might catch a glimpse of the contrail from an early morning missile test Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015. (ABC15 via AP, File)  (The Associated Press)

An early morning missile test in New Mexico left a white contrail that quickly turned into a corkscrew that was visible for hundreds of miles Thursday.

The unarmed Juno target missile was launched at 6:55 a.m. MST from an old military depot in northwestern New Mexico.

It was aimed at White Sands Missile Range, some 215 miles away, but a White Sands spokesman says it was successfully intercepted over the range by a Patriot missile and disintegrated midair.

Range spokesman Luciano Vera says a second Patriot fired from White Sands self-destructed after the first Patriot hit the target.

The corkscrew-shaped contrail was visible in Phoenix, 245 miles southwest of the launch site.