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AEHF5 by United Launch Alliance | by Michael Seeley
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AEHF5 by United Launch Alliance

This is the United Launch Alliance AEHF-5 satellite launch.


With a launch time of 6:13am (ET) and a sunrise of 6:48am, the downrange plume caught the rising sunlight perfectly. There's even a hint of crepuscular rays emanating from the horizon.


This is a 251-second exposure captured from Palm Shores, Florida, looking across the Indian River Lagoon. The shadowy figure on the dock is a fisherman, net fishing, but he sure paused to watch the launch. Afterward, he asked me if the rocket exploded, and I assured him it did exactly what it was supposed to do.


Edited to add that this was named NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day ("APOD") for August 9, 2019. Link here:

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Taken on August 8, 2019