If you saw strange lights in the sky Saturday night, you're not alone.

Staff at several National Weather Service offices in the Northeast received calls of strange lights after NASA launched a rocket from Virginia, a meteorologist with the weather service in Upton said.

And along the East Coast, reports of the bright, cone-shaped light poured into weather stations and news organizations, a Boston TV station said on its Web site.

Amityville resident Bob Farwell said he spotted what looked like "a giant star" to the south while he was at a party in Lindenhurst. After less than a minute, "it was like someone flipped the switch, and it just disappeared," said Farwell, 62.

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The Black Brant XII suborbital rocket was launched at 7:46 p.m. to study clouds in the uppermost atmosphere, the TV station said.

"It's definitely possible to see lights from that rocket, given how clear and how dry the atmosphere is," Upton meteorologist Michael Silva said.