Thursday, June 06, 2013

Rocket Launches from Wallops, is seen in Maryland/DC area

"A NASA Black Brant XII suborbital rocket streaks into the night sky following its launch at 11:05 p.m. EDT on June 5, 2013 from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The rocket carried the Cosmic Infrared Background ExpeRiment (CIBER) to an altitude of approximately 358 miles above the Atlantic Ocean by the four-stage rocket."

The launch was clearly visible from Rockville, much more so than the previous ones that I had tried to spot. It appeared to be travelling almost straight up. It was a distinct, bright dot with almost a reddish tint. It dropped out for a moment and then reappeared. Probably the staging but possibly occlusion by a cloud. Instead of setting up a camera, I merely watch for the launch on the live feed and then ran outside. That worked pretty well since it isn't visible for the first minute and a half or so.It worked well for me seeing it but no so good for catching a photo. You can just make it out in this photo. It was MUCH more vivid to the naked eye!