Madelaine McMasters Posted January 11, 2018 Share Posted January 11, 2018 (edited) 28 minutes ago, Dillon Levenque said: The effect in the SpaceX launch is a combination of things. The primary condition is that launch happens close enough after sundown from the observer's position, so the observer is in Earth's shadow but the rocket's in sunlight. Yep. Here's a shuttle launch photo (Atlantis - Feb 7, 2001) that was the subject of much discussion during my waning days on the sci.astro.amateur usenet group... The launch was shortly after sundown, so the bottom of the plume is in the Earth's shadow. The top is still directly illuminated by sunlight and the plume's shadow (anticrepuscular ray or anti-sunbeam) can be seen pointing directly to the nearly full moon that's just as nearly opposite the sun. You can also see the Earth's shadow rising from the horizon, above which the sky is pink-orange from sunlight filtering through the atmosphere behind the camera. The sky at higher elevation is illuminated by sunlight taking a much shorter path through the atmosphere, so there's still plenty of blue light to scatter. I've no idea what to call the color that's between the pink-orange and the blue, but I think it's the prettiest color on above Earth. If you've ever been on a prominent mountain peak during sunrise/sunset, you may have noticed the shadow of the mountain in the sky... Edited January 11, 2018 by Madelaine McMasters 1 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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