Rocket plume, orbital mishap, or something else?

  

Category:  Other

By:  dig  •  5 months ago  •  17 comments

Rocket plume, orbital mishap, or something else?

This cruised over my backyard earlier, about 6:50 PM Central.

It was a point of light much like a satellite in size and speed, but with a large gaseous spiral around it, all moving together in an otherwise cloudless sky. It was bright and obvious, and the whole thing was about the size of a volleyball held at arm's length. It moved north to south in the western sky, about 45 degrees above the horizon, and was out of sight in a matter of minutes.

original

***

Here it is with a contrast adjustment...

original

I'm pretty sure the rectangular shape of the central point is a camera artifact.

At first I thought it might have been a rocket plume, but from north to south? Could something have blown up in orbit instead?

I wish the image quality was better, but I was in a hurry to get any kind of shot at all.


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Dig
PhD Guide
1  author  Dig    5 months ago

What do you think that was? Could a thruster pack on a large satellite have ruptured and expelled its gasses? Something else?

 
 
 
Split Personality
Professor Principal
2  Split Personality    5 months ago

Nothing scheduled for today.  Weird.

 
 
 
Split Personality
Professor Principal
3  Split Personality    5 months ago

Looks like the Millennial Falcon leaving earth orbit.jrSmiley_68_smiley_image.png

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
4  Kavika     5 months ago

The Space X launch from Florida this evening. 

273162933_10226292918050909_4677486986246983045_n.jpg?_nc_cat=101&ccb=1-5&_nc_sid=5cd70e&_nc_ohc=9KE4k_wUrN4AX8wFHaR&_nc_ht=scontent-mia3-1.xx&oh=00_AT_9Va5agkbooYNPJPAnxcdps8woVhVCktZsR7lV6qs0rg&oe=61FE6B7D

 
 
 
Split Personality
Professor Principal
4.1  Split Personality  replied to  Kavika @4    5 months ago

I forgot today was Monday, lol.

The first liftoff is set for Monday, when a rocket topped with an Italian surveillance satellite is currently scheduled to leave Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 3:11 p.m. PT (6:11 p.m. ET). Then, a Starlink launch is on tap Tuesday from adjacent Kennedy Space Center, followed by mission for the National Reconnaissance Office from California Wednesday. SpaceX could attempt three Falcon 9 rocket launches in next two days (msn.com)
 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
4.1.1  Kavika   replied to  Split Personality @4.1    5 months ago

The photo was taken from my street this evening.

P.S. Today is Monday jrSmiley_4_smiley_image.png

 
 
 
shona1
Junior Participates
4.1.2  shona1  replied to  Kavika @4.1.1    5 months ago

Errr Monday was yesterday.. today is Tuesday....well for us anyway... great photo... lucky to have that in your backyard..

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
4.1.3  Kavika   replied to  shona1 @4.1.2    5 months ago

Not exactly in my backyard, Cape Canaveral where Space X is launched from is 140 miles from us but we get quite the show.

 
 
 
shona1
Junior Participates
4.1.4  shona1  replied to  Kavika @4.1.3    5 months ago

Yeah that's close enough to qualify for in your backyard...bit like when we say it's just down the road... that can mean about 200 kms...

Would have been great to see though...

 
 
 
Split Personality
Professor Principal
5  Split Personality    5 months ago

today after being scrubbed 5 times?

launch is at 12;38 of the video

stage 1 separation around 15:00 minute mark

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
5.1  Kavika   replied to  Split Personality @5    5 months ago
today after being scrubbed 5 times?

Yes, and it was canceled yesterday because a cruise ship sailed into the area. Its GPS was following bikini clap beach goers.

 
 
 
Dig
PhD Guide
5.2  author  Dig  replied to  Split Personality @5    5 months ago

I wonder if what I saw was the second stage burn to send it into a higher orbit? If so, then it must have already made an orbit or two to be visible in the western sky from the middle of the country, instead of being out over the Atlantic.

Cool sight, though. My pictures don't really do it justice. 

 
 
 
Dig
PhD Guide
6  author  Dig    5 months ago

A TV station down in Springfield posted some viewer pics of it. Most of them look over-exposed, or maybe over-edited, but here's the link...

VIEWER PICTURES: What is that in the sky Monday night?

Here's the text below the photos...

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - So what is that mysterious light in the sky?

Viewers across the Ozarks shared images of the light in the sky around 7 p.m.

Experts say it was likely from the SpaceX Falcon 2 launch earlier in the evening. The rocket dropped its first-stage booster to a fiery descent back to Earth.

Dr. Greg Ojakangas from Drury University specializes in astrophysics. He offered this take.

“Since it was within an hour of sunset or so, the contrail would have been in the sunlight, so it all makes sense,” said Dr. Ojakangas. “And there was a SpaceX launch tonight. Since it is a sun-synchronous orbit, it would indeed have gone north, but I would not have expected to see the SpaceX first stage contrail this far north. The orbital burn of the second stage makes sense, that would be a lot farther from Florida. Maybe the upper stage spiraled after it delivered the satellite to orbit, due to some leftover fuel.”
 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
6.1  Kavika   replied to  Dig @6    5 months ago

Don't' let some Astrophysisys fool you, Dig. All of us in the know, are positive it was the ''Ozark Howler''...

 
 
 
Dig
PhD Guide
6.1.1  author  Dig  replied to  Kavika @6.1    5 months ago

Lol.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
6.1.2  Trout Giggles  replied to  Kavika @6.1    5 months ago

No it wasn't 256

 
 
 
al Jizzerror
Sophomore Expert
7  al Jizzerror    5 months ago

512

 
 

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