Last Friday SpaceX launched its Falcon 9 rocket that illuminated the sky above Southern California in a spectacularly unusual way, leaving many unsuspecting people to wonder if they were witnessing a comet, an attack, or the end of days. SpaceX founder Elon Musk acknowledged the bizzare atmospheric effect but didn’t help clarify things much.
Photographer Jesse Watson was in nearby Yuma, Arizona to film a timelapse of the launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base. Having never filmed a rocket before he wasn’t sure quite what to expect, but this 40 seconds of footage was well worth the effort. PetaPixel has some additional details about how Watson managed to get the shot.