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Blue light illuminates the night sky after a transformer explosion at the Astoria Generating Station on Dec. 27. Simin Liu / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

By Jake Johnson

Though it immediately evoked images of "an alien invasion" or the eerie opening scene of a "monster movie," the explosion that briefly turned New York City's skyline bright blue late Thursday night was actually something rather more conventional, but still cause for serious alarm and action: an electrical blast at one of New York's dirtiest power plants.

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