Blue sky at night lights up social media in NY

The mysterious blue light caused many New Yorkers to turn to social media for answers, including many who wondered if it was aliens.

One resident, Joe Calderone, told the New York Post: "Damn, I thought a UFO hit Con Ed". "But the videos online of the blue lights in the sky are still flying all over the internet", McGee said.

Authorities said a fire caused by the explosion was under control.'s Lisa Voyticki reports.

As the Huffington Post's Alexander Kaufman noted, the Astoria Generating Station-where the Thursday night blast occurred-"burns 3,039,000 gallons of number 6 fuel oil a year".

Meanwhile, travellers tweeted about a power outage at LaGuardia Airport.

Flights at La Guardia airport were grounded, traffic around the city was affected, and there were neighbourhoods without any power. "The fire is under control, will update as more info becomes available", the NYPD said on Twitter. The utility's outage map showed only about 50 power outages as of 9:50 p.m. Thursday, but that number was growing.

"Confirming incident in Astoria was result of transformer explosion", the New York Police Department said in a tweet shortly after the sky went bright blue.

Consolidated Edison - also known simply as Con Ed - said it is still investigating the root cause of the incident.

But power had been mostly restored to LaGuardia by 11 p.m. and the airport was resuming normal operations.

Mayor Bill de Blasio's spokesman Eric Phillips tweeted that the lights were attributable to a "blown transformer" at the Queens facility.

Besides lighting up the sky in shades of blue visible as far as Manhattan and New Jersey, temors shook buildings and rattled windows. The light was blue because of the nitrogen and oxygen in the air when the electricity arced through it, he added.

  • Eleanor Harrison