- SpaceX has launched on Saturday morning, dozens of new satellites Starlink providing internet as well as some of the spacecraft imaging of Planet Labs.
- The rocket Falcon 9 carrying the mission into orbit took off just before dawn in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
- This caused the plume growing from the rocket exhaust gases are used to catch the beams of the morning sunlight, creating a huge and spectacular cloud bright multicolored.
- People as far away as Alabama saw the cloud-shades of blue with a rainbow of colors in it and took photos and videos of the phenomenon.
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The best time to see a rocket launch is in the middle of the twilight of dusk or dawn, when the darkness covers the ground, but the light of the sun is still shining high in the sky. In such moments, plumes of rocket-engine exhaust over the Earth can catch the sun and create clouds of light spectacular.
Saturday morning at 5h21 EST, SpaceX launched a rocket, Falcon 9 carrying 58 satellite Starlink to beam the internet to space with three of the new spacecraft high-resolution SkySat Earth-observing Planet Labs.
The mission of Starlink-8, as it is called, was the eighth batch of its latest satellite Starlink of SpaceX, after two launches of previous experimental, and it marks the 540th satellite of this type delivered into orbit.
It is also one of the three missions Starlink that the company hopes to complete in less than three weeks to work on the supply of a service in the Internet world before the end of 2020. (That is to say, if SpaceX can find an affordable way to connect users to its network, as the founder Elon Musk has recently suggested.)
As the rocket rose from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and above the Atlantic ocean, it has created the phenomenon of the clouds of light, and the people of the several States were around to document it in photos and videos to the effect breathtaking.
“A display of epic on the space coast of florida this morning! “, tweeted photographer John Pisani shortly after the launch, sharing two superb long exposure photography that he has taken the flare amount in orbit.
—johnpisani (@johnpisaniphoto) On June 13, 2020
John Kraus, a photographer of space flights, recorded a film in time-lapse of the entire launch for SuperCluster and has uploaded on Twitter.
The clip compresses approximately eight minutes from launch in 15 seconds :
—John Kraus ? (@johnkrausphotos) On June 13, 2020
SuperCluster, a company in the media space, has tweeted one of the photos of Kraus, and it shows how the plume of exhaust in the expansion shone brightly in a rainbow of colors in the twilight before dawn.
—Supercluster (@SuperclusterHQ) On June 13, 2020
Jamie Groh, teacher and part-time reporter for Teslarati.com, has also shared a photo of the launch before the dawn , but it has taken 140 miles from the launch site of the rocket to the air force station of Cape Canaveral.
“I’m fairly certain that all my neighbours were wondering why there was a crazy lady outside screaming at 5 in the morning,” Groh said in his post.
—Jamie Groh (@AlteredJamie) On June 13, 2020
The plume of the launch was so bright and large that it could be seen as far away as Daleville, Alabama, Written The Twitter user Chance Belloise.
The high-level winds have finally blown around the track the exhaust expanding into a cloud winding, creating a pattern resembling a serpent in the sky, as shown in the image I Tweeted by photographer Greg Diesel Walck.
—Greg Diesel Walck (@GregDieselPhoto) On June 13, 2020
Starlink-8 is not the first time that the launches of the rockets of SpaceX, who are now the most common of all the aerospace companies based in the United States, have produced a light show so famous.
After the launch by SpaceX in June 2018 of a ship and cargo supply cargo to the international space Station, its plume of rocket launch has also seized the light of high altitude to create an amazing “dragon tail” glowing.
And on December 22, 2017, the flight by SpaceX 10 Iridium NEXT satellites has helped to create over the Coast of a State which is without doubt the most beautiful stage of launch the company’s rockets.
Why are the plumes of exhaust of the rocket can be so beautiful
When the rockets launch, they leave behind a trail of hot exhaust system, also called a plume. The appearance of the plume depends on the fuel, in the case of SpaceX, this is RP-1 — a kerosene-high-quality — burned by the liquid oxygen.
The rocket Falcon 9 can send payloads to more than 250 miles above the Earth, beyond the edge of the space and where the space station in orbit around our planet.
In a first time, a rocket leaves behind it a plume of relatively thin. But as he climbs higher and higher into space, the pressure of the air becomes lower and lower. A dozen kilometres away, the pressure of the air is less than 1% of the surface of the Earth, which causes a dramatic expansion of the plumes of warm launch.
If the weather conditions are good, these plumes float can be made to condense the water out of the air, which freezes then tiny ice crystals. And if the time came, these crystals can reflect the light of the sun far above the horizon like a mirror, radiating out towards the bottom to a dark place before dawn or after sunset (at least until the high-level winds blow around the plume and ice).
The phenomenon is known to scientists under the name of clouds noctilucents or ” shining night “, that form naturally and more frequently over the Arctic and the Antarctic.
For a procedure visual on the reasons for the launches of rockets twilight are so amazing, watch the video below from Scott Manley, astrophysicist and YouTuber popular, which uses as an example the mission of December 2017 of SpaceX.