Scope Diagram Astrocamera.Net - Astrophotography by Dave Kodama

SpaceX Starlink Launch

Above is real-time video of the rocket launch as seen from the Palos Verdes penninsula. This was shot at about 1300 ft. above sea level to avoid a marine fog layer on the coast, but some haze was in the air as can be seen by the scattering around the 1st quarter moon near the center of the frame.

When the rocket appears (upper right of frame), it is being boosted by the 1st stage. Main engine cutoff (MECO) happens a few seconds later and the rocket is invisible for a few seconds until the 2nd stage ignites. The exhaust plume from the 2nd stage is visible in the video (after much image processing) but was not visible with the naked eye.

About 4:30 into the video, the 1st stage entry burn is visible in the lower left of the frame. This burn is for about 20 seconds.

Below are some stills taken with a telephoto lens.

1st stage burn in the initial launch phase.

2nd stage burn to place satellites into their initial orbit.



Photo info (stills):
  • Date/Time: 13 Sept. 2021
  • Location: Palos Verdes penninsula (CA)
  • Camera: Nikon D850 @ ISO 3200
  • Exposure: 1/30 sec.
  • Lens/Scope: Nikon 70-210mm zoom @ 210mm
  • Filter: --
  • Mount: Photo tripod
  • Guiding: --
  • Image Processing: Lightroom