NASA’s Late-Night Moon Launch Captured Beautifully by Stargazers

Veteran launch photographer Ben Cooper captured a long-exposure view of the launch from the Top of the Rock observation deck at Rockefeller Center in New York City (Image One), far north of the launch site on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

"I planned this months in advance and made a trip up to coincide with it (my family is up here) … From the Top of the Rock observation deck, the Minotaur was due to pop above the horizon from just left of the Empire State Building, a trajectory I calculated back in June," Cooper said of the 55-second exposure. "I was amazed from 200 miles away at how bright it was, and how fast, though Minotaur is one of the fastest launch vehicles. The clarity in the atmosphere made it amazing even with light pollution. After covering 110 launches before this, this was my first where I was any further than even 10 miles away."

Image 2: Ben Gallop, Nags Head, N.C.

Image 3: Chris Bakley, Cape May Point, N.J., 

 

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