APOD: Rocket Plume Shadow Points to the Moon (2018 Jun 24)

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APOD: Rocket Plume Shadow Points to the Moon (2018 Jun 24)

Post by APOD Robot » Sun Jun 24, 2018 4:05 am

Image Rocket Plume Shadow Points to the Moon

Explanation: Why would the shadow of a space shuttle launch plume point toward the Moon? In early 2001 during a launch of Atlantis, the Sun, Earth, Moon, and rocket were all properly aligned for this photogenic coincidence. First, for the space shuttle's plume to cast a long shadow, the time of day must be either near sunrise or sunset. Only then will the shadow be its longest and extend all the way to the horizon. Finally, during a Full Moon, the Sun and Moon are on opposite sides of the sky. Just after sunset, for example, the Sun is slightly below the horizon, and, in the other direction, the Moon is slightly above the horizon. Therefore, as Atlantis blasted off, just after sunset, its shadow projected away from the Sun toward the opposite horizon, where the Full Moon happened to be.

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Klaus

Re: APOD: Rocket Plume Shadow Points to the Moon (2018 Jun 24)

Post by Klaus » Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:49 am

Thanks for the nice image!
Also there probably has to be some sort of dust within the layer of atmosphere where the shadow becomes visible. Its density drops while the rocket gains altitude and the shadow fades out.

Dima

Re: APOD: Rocket Plume Shadow Points to the Moon (2018 Jun 24)

Post by Dima » Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:06 am

Is this thought actually correct?:
The shadow can be followed "beyond" the moon, which means the image must have been recorded after full moon. Only at full moon the shadow would be pointing very close to the moon and onto the moon during an ecilipse.
Thank you

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Re: APOD: Rocket Plume Shadow Points to the Moon (2018 Jun 24)

Post by De58te » Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:59 am

I suppose if the Shuttle still takes off shortly after sunset but the Moon was waxing gibbous, the shadow would still point to the Moon except it would be shorter because the Moon would be a bit higher up above the horizon. Even at third quarter the Moon would cut the shadow in half. Or is it first quarter and the launch is at sunrise? I always am confused which of the quarter moons are visible during the day. I wonder with hundreds of shuttle launches there were other sunset launches with the Moon in different positions? Then again was there a time when the planet Mars was in the right place for the shadow to point to it? Hmmm, that would be a clever headline, space shuttle launch shadow points longingly to Mars.

Ironwood

Re: APOD: Rocket Plume Shadow Points to the Moon (2018 Jun 24)

Post by Ironwood » Sun Jun 24, 2018 12:57 pm

This reminds me of November 27th, 2011. I was browsing the internet and saw this: http://www.star.ucl.ac.uk/~apod/apod/ap111127.html

Aluminumwood

Re: APOD: Rocket Plume Shadow Points to the Moon (2018 Jun 24)

Post by Aluminumwood » Sun Jun 24, 2018 1:03 pm

Ironwood wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 12:57 pm
This reminds me of November 27th, 2011. I was browsing the internet and saw this: http://www.star.ucl.ac.uk/~apod/apod/ap111127.html
It reminds me of June 3rd, 2007. https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap070603.html

MetallicHydrogenWood

Re: APOD: Rocket Plume Shadow Points to the Moon (2018 Jun 24)

Post by MetallicHydrogenWood » Sun Jun 24, 2018 1:04 pm

Aluminumwood wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 1:03 pm
Ironwood wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 12:57 pm
This reminds me of November 27th, 2011. I was browsing the internet and saw this: http://www.star.ucl.ac.uk/~apod/apod/ap111127.html
It reminds me of June 3rd, 2007. https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap070603.html
This brings back memories of February 19th, 2001 for me. https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap010219.html

heehaw

Re: APOD: Rocket Plume Shadow Points to the Moon (2018 Jun 24)

Post by heehaw » Sun Jun 24, 2018 1:25 pm

I've never seen it before today, and I was very happy indeed to see such a remarkable photograph!

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neufer
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Re: APOD: Rocket Plume Shadow Points to the Moon (2018 Jun 24)

Post by neufer » Sun Jun 24, 2018 3:04 pm


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyrano_de_Bergerac wrote:
<<Savinien de Cyrano de Bergerac (6 March 1619 – 28 July 1655) was a French novelist, playwright, epistolarian and duelist. Cyrano's short life is poorly documented. Certain significant chapters of his life are only known from the Preface to the Histoire Comique par Monsieur de Cyrano Bergerac, Contenant les Estats & Empires de la Lune (Comical History of the States and Empires of the Moon) published in 1657, nearly two years after his death. John Shirley published a story about Cyrano called "Cyrano and the Two Plumes" in a French anthology; it was reprinted at The Freezine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.>>
De Guiche: Where has this man dropped from?

Cyrano: (sitting up, and speaking broadly, with a Gascon accent) From the moon!

De Guiche: My dear sir...

Cyrano: Like a bomb, I fell from the moon!

De Guiche: (impatiently) Come now! Sir!

Cyrano: (rising, in a terrible voice) From the moon!

De Guiche: (recoiling) Fine, fine! You fell from there! ...Perhaps he’s crazy!

Cyrano: (walking up to him) And yet I didn’t fall metaphorically!...

De Guiche: But ...

Cyrano: It was a hundred years, or a moment,
- I don’t know how long it lasted, that descent! -
I was inside a ball the colour of saffron!
Art Neuendorffer

tetrodehead

Re: APOD: Rocket Plume Shadow Points to the Moon (2018 Jun 24)

Post by tetrodehead » Sun Jun 24, 2018 5:04 pm

The shadow appears too straightfor the dispersing rocket plume.
Anti-crespucular ray?

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neufer
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Re: APOD: Rocket Plume Shadow Points to the Moon (2018 Jun 24)

Post by neufer » Sun Jun 24, 2018 6:22 pm

tetrodehead wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 5:04 pm

The shadow appears too straightfor the dispersing rocket plume.

Anti-crespucular ray?
Anticrepuscular rays shadowed/blocked by the yellow band of the rocket plume.
Art Neuendorffer