I have been trying for almost a year to capture a rocket launch but for one reason or another it just never worked out. On June 18th I was at Cape Hatteras photographing the Milky Way from several different locations and I decided to finish up by shooting moonrise from Ramp 43. I setup the timelapse camera and began shooting with my primary. As the moon came up I noticed something showing up that I thought was lens flare so I packed up and headed in.
Several days later I saw another photographer post an image on Instagram with the same odd thing in his image. He identified it as the SpaceX Falcon launched from Florida shortly after midnight. I went back to my timelapse images and sure enough I had captured 4 frames with the rocket streaking through and the red vapor trail spreading across the sky. I really wish I had known but of course I'm sure that somewhere in my notifications was something about a rocket launch that I ignored. There was a significant amount of clouds that were gathering in the direction it was coming so I'm not really sure how much more I could have gotten but it would have been fun to try.
Below is a video I put together for Youtube that shows the full timelapse as well as the dozen or so frames that have the rocket and vapor trail slowed down. I even threw in a few of the images that I had gone there attempting capture.
The night sky never ceases to amaze, it's things like this that keep me coming out under the stars to see what I can see and try to capture a little of it to share with others.
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