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SpaceX Falcon 9 Launch

Posted: 3 January 2024

The sky was mostly clear Tuesday, 2 January 2024, as sunset approached. SpaceX had scheduled a launch of a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California shortly after sunset California time. The conditions would be right for a nice view of the rocket plume illuminated by the Sun as seen from southern Arizona. Unfortunately, the launch was delayed about 90 minutes. That meant the rocket plume would not illuminated by the Sun.

I decided to try a video recording anyway. I used my iPhone 15 Pro Max mounted on a camera tripod. Although the scene is dark in these videos, the rocket exhaust is visible. I also took three photographs of the rocket using the Camera app in Night Mode (5 seconds, 1X lens).

This video (10 seconds) and photograph (cropped) show a portion of the launch.

Click to view video


This video (5 seconds) and photograph (cropped) show the 2nd stage continuing to fire and the 1st stage doing its "re-entry burn" (the red glow near the horizon in the lower left corner).

Click to view video


This photograph (cropped) shows the final portion of the launch.


In anticipation of starting a project in 2024 to image some more Quasars, I have collected my past Quasar images in their own Astrophotography Album.

I posted my review of an AutoStar/AudioStar USB-to-Serial Adapter.

I have created a new Rockets photography album.

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