Falcon 9 Rocket Launch seen from Phoenix, AZ

6:31pm MST

6:33pm MST

Launch Animation

"This was a way awesome event!" Awesome as in awe inspiring. I've seen one of these back in 2005 and it doesn't get dull. There were similarities and big difference from the previous time I watched a rocket launch from this same location. This is now the second launch from Vandenberg AFB in California I've seen. The lighting conditions were similar but I wasn't sure what to expect this time around. It was perfect! The plume from the second stage quickly grew to a very large diffuse glow that filled the sky from the horizon to about 15 degrees up and about 30 or more degrees wide. The bright streak near the middle of the plume in the top photograph is the first stage booster maneuvering for its splashdown in the Pacific Ocean. You can see it much lower in the middle photograph. I made the animation from six photographs of the launch as it progressed.

Photographer: Rick Scott
Date: December 22, 2017
Camera: Canon EOS 40D digital camera
Lens: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L IS USM
Exposure (top): 8 seconds at f/4, ISO 100 in raw mode, 52mm focal length
Exposure (middle): 8 seconds at f/4, ISO 100 in raw mode, 300mm focal length
Camera Mode: ISO 100 RAW
Software: Adobe Photoshop CS6 for RAW conversion and image processing

Rick Scott's Natural Images Home Page

Updated: 22 December 2017