Missile Launch Over San Francisco – Not Astronomy, but Cool Results

Not a UFO!  Last weekend the US Navy launched a Trident II D5 strategic ballistic missile from USS Kentucky (a Ohio class SSNB) off the southern coast of California.  Justin Majeczky and a friend were lucky enough to be shooting a time-lapse video over the Golden Gate bridge when they noticed the missile launch.

While not an astronomy target, capturing missile or rocket launches, especially at night lends itself very well to astro-photo gear, setup and software.  And nighttime launches often provide nice results, especially after sunset as the exhaust plume reflects sunlight high up on the atmosphere.  Can also trigger the formation of noctilucent clouds.

If you live in near a spaceport, or near a naval war exercise, tracking and capturing a missile or rocket launch with your gear can be rewarding.

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