APOD: RBSP Night Launch (2012 Sep 02)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
User avatar
APOD Robot
Otto Posterman
Posts: 3550
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:27 am

APOD: RBSP Night Launch (2012 Sep 02)

Post by APOD Robot » Sun Sep 02, 2012 4:06 am

Image RBSP Night Launch

Explanation: This graceful arc traces a Delta rocket climbing through Thursday's early morning skies over Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, USA. Snug inside the rocket's Centaur upper stage were NASA's twin Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP), now in separate orbits within planet Earth's Van Allen radiation belts. Reflected in the Turn Basin from a vantage point about 3 miles from Space Launch Complex 41, the scene was captured in a composite of two exposures. One highlights the dramatic play of launch pad lighting, clouds, and sky. A subsequent 3 minute long exposure records the rocket's fiery trail. While most spacecraft try to avoid the radiation belts, named for their discoverer James Van Allen, RBSP's mission will be to explore their dynamic and harsh conditions.

<< Previous APOD This Day in APOD Next APOD >>
[/b]

User avatar
bystander
Apathetic Retiree
Posts: 18360
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:06 pm
Location: Oklahoma

Re: APOD: RBSP Night Launch (2012 Sep 02)

Post by bystander » Sun Sep 02, 2012 4:07 am

Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor

User avatar
Beyond
500 Gigaderps
Posts: 6889
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:09 am
Location: BEYONDER LAND

Re: APOD: RBSP Night Launch (2012 Sep 02)

Post by Beyond » Sun Sep 02, 2012 4:10 am

The RBSP's are now 'belted'. I hope they're cinched tight enough so they won't fall down. :mrgreen: :lol2:
To find the Truth, you must go Beyond.

ta152h0
Schooled
Posts: 1340
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2005 12:46 am
Location: Auburn, Washington, USA

Re: APOD: RBSP Night Launch (2012 Sep 02)

Post by ta152h0 » Sun Sep 02, 2012 4:51 am

any rocket cam imagery of this launch ? I hope JPL has a camera on the next MARS vehicle that would show the landing as if " viewed from the cockpit " . I am guessing the last MARS landing will be the Modus Operandi of future landings and no more gasbags, right ?
Wolf Kotenberg

User avatar
neufer
Vacationer at Tralfamadore
Posts: 15975
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:57 pm
Location: Alexandria, Virginia

Re: APOD: RBSP Night Launch (2012 Sep 02)

Post by neufer » Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:38 am

ta152h0 wrote:
any rocket cam imagery of this launch ?
Probably...but considering that it was a "Night Launch" there would not be much to see besides the rocket exhaust.
ta152h0 wrote:
I hope JPL has a camera on the next MARS vehicle that would show the landing as if " viewed from the cockpit " .
Like the last MARS vehicle? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZioPhfxnSY
ta152h0 wrote:
I am guessing the last MARS landing will be the Modus Operandi of future landings and no more gasbags, right ?
Gasbags work great for small & medium sized rovers.

And small & medium sized NON-rovers like Viking & Phoenix will use the old: heat shield/parachute/standard descent engines.

Only large probes like Curiosity will require these exotic new techniques to avoid kicking up too much crap from the surface.
Art Neuendorffer

Flying Squirrel

Re: APOD: RBSP Night Launch (2012 Sep 02)

Post by Flying Squirrel » Sun Sep 02, 2012 1:23 pm

Hmm, that looks like a (almost) new moon just under the arc of the rocket's trail,
which is in the right place for an eastward looking view, pre-dawn.
But the moon was full on Friday (8/31/12), so is that not the moon, or what?
Please explain.

BillGawne

Re: APOD: RBSP Night Launch (2012 Sep 02)

Post by BillGawne » Sun Sep 02, 2012 2:19 pm

The launch vehicle was an Atlas V. Not a Delta. Otherwise it's a great picture.

EdieB
Asternaut
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2012 2:43 pm

Re: APOD: RBSP Night Launch (2012 Sep 02)

Post by EdieB » Sun Sep 02, 2012 3:00 pm

Spaceflight Now has that it was an Atlas...
http://www.spaceflightnow.com/atlas/av032/

EdieB
Asternaut
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2012 2:43 pm

Re: APOD: RBSP Night Launch (2012 Sep 02)

Post by EdieB » Sun Sep 02, 2012 3:19 pm

Flying Squirrel wrote:Hmm, that looks like a (almost) new moon just under the arc of the rocket's trail,
which is in the right place for an eastward looking view, pre-dawn.
But the moon was full on Friday (8/31/12), so is that not the moon, or what?
Please explain.
That does resemble a crescent moon, doesn't it? But I would expect the moon to be brighter in such a long-exposure photo, and it looks a little bit ragged to me, i.e. not perfectly round. Another clue might be that its light is orange like the rocket trail. So perhaps the orange light of the rocket motor is shining on some curvy clouds? Could it have anything to do with SRB jettison?

User avatar
Chris Peterson
Abominable Snowman
Posts: 14362
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:13 pm
Location: Guffey, Colorado, USA

Re: APOD: RBSP Night Launch (2012 Sep 02)

Post by Chris Peterson » Sun Sep 02, 2012 3:31 pm

Flying Squirrel wrote:Hmm, that looks like a (almost) new moon just under the arc of the rocket's trail,
which is in the right place for an eastward looking view, pre-dawn.
But the moon was full on Friday (8/31/12), so is that not the moon, or what?
Please explain.
It's an internal reflection of the aperture stop inside the lens- a type of lens flare. You can even see the vanes of the iris making the reflection polygonal rather than round.
Chris

*****************************************
Chris L Peterson
Cloudbait Observatory
http://www.cloudbait.com

chull

Re: APOD: RBSP Night Launch (2012 Sep 02)

Post by chull » Sun Sep 02, 2012 3:48 pm

Were the two exposures misaligned? The trail reflection is going the wrong way (right) while the liftoff is going left. Might be hard to explain but do you see what I mean? The water surface should act like a mirror.

EdieB
Asternaut
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2012 2:43 pm

Re: APOD: RBSP Night Launch (2012 Sep 02)

Post by EdieB » Sun Sep 02, 2012 4:59 pm

chull wrote:Were the two exposures misaligned? The trail reflection is going the wrong way (right) while the liftoff is going left. Might be hard to explain but do you see what I mean? The water surface should act like a mirror.
Multiple exposures in cases like this usually means stacked, not stitched. Digital exposure doesn't allow a long enough time to record the desired event, so you have to take more exposures and stack them. Not sure about the reflection, but the entire photo is tilted counterclockwise slightly (the tripod wasn't level), which sends the upper portion a little left and the lower portion a little right. If you correct for this, the rocket trail and its reflection will be closer to straight up and down at the horizon. Not sure if this accounts for what you are seeing.

User avatar
Chris Peterson
Abominable Snowman
Posts: 14362
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:13 pm
Location: Guffey, Colorado, USA

Re: APOD: RBSP Night Launch (2012 Sep 02)

Post by Chris Peterson » Sun Sep 02, 2012 5:07 pm

chull wrote:Were the two exposures misaligned? The trail reflection is going the wrong way (right) while the liftoff is going left. Might be hard to explain but do you see what I mean? The water surface should act like a mirror.
Both the trail in the air and the trail in the water were captured in the same exposure. I think the exposure with the trail must still contain enough landscape elements that any misalignment with the foreground exposure would be apparent when they were stacked.
Chris

*****************************************
Chris L Peterson
Cloudbait Observatory
http://www.cloudbait.com

EdieB
Asternaut
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2012 2:43 pm

Re: APOD: RBSP Night Launch (2012 Sep 02)

Post by EdieB » Sun Sep 02, 2012 5:41 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
chull wrote:Were the two exposures misaligned? The trail reflection is going the wrong way (right) while the liftoff is going left. Might be hard to explain but do you see what I mean? The water surface should act like a mirror.
Both the trail in the air and the trail in the water were captured in the same exposure. I think the exposure with the trail must still contain enough landscape elements that any misalignment with the foreground exposure would be apparent when they were stacked.
Chull was asking why the trail and reflection, combined, look like this

\

when, if there is any deviation from the vertical, they should look like this, a mirror image.

>

Misalignment was Chull's guess as to the answer, but the question remains. Do you have an explanation, Chris?

User avatar
Chris Peterson
Abominable Snowman
Posts: 14362
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:13 pm
Location: Guffey, Colorado, USA

Re: APOD: RBSP Night Launch (2012 Sep 02)

Post by Chris Peterson » Sun Sep 02, 2012 6:14 pm

EdieB wrote:Chull was asking why the trail and reflection, combined, look like this

\

when, if there is any deviation from the vertical, they should look like this, a mirror image.

>

Misalignment was Chull's guess as to the answer, but the question remains. Do you have an explanation, Chris?
I understood the question, and was just explaining why misalignment is most likely not the explanation. I don't have any solid explanation, but I will say that angles can be misleading in wide angle images, because there is always significant distortion.
Chris

*****************************************
Chris L Peterson
Cloudbait Observatory
http://www.cloudbait.com

User avatar
bystander
Apathetic Retiree
Posts: 18360
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:06 pm
Location: Oklahoma

Re: APOD: RBSP Night Launch (2012 Sep 02)

Post by bystander » Sun Sep 02, 2012 6:58 pm

EdieB wrote: Chull was asking why the trail and reflection, combined, look like this \

when, if there is any deviation from the vertical, they should look like this, a mirror image. >

Misalignment was Chull's guess as to the answer, but the question remains.
I think, perhaps, your previous comment explains it.
EdieB wrote:... the entire photo is tilted counterclockwise slightly (the tripod wasn't level), which sends the upper portion a little left and the lower portion a little right. If you correct for this, the rocket trail and its reflection will be closer to straight up and down at the horizon. ...
if you look at the interior angle from the left of the two trails, it is somewhat less than 180°. You may also wish to consider the reflection point is not centered in the frame which may skew the apparent reflection angle, especially in a wide angle shot. If you look at the reflections of the objects on the horizon, objects on the right are skewed to the right and objects on the left are skewed to the left.
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor

floating_pencils

Re: APOD: RBSP Night Launch (2012 Sep 02)

Post by floating_pencils » Sun Sep 02, 2012 7:51 pm

That's one of the most dynamic images I've seen on this site.
Thanks so much!
-Andy

BadGirlM
Asternaut
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 12:27 am

Re: APOD: RBSP Night Launch (2012 Sep 02)

Post by BadGirlM » Mon Sep 03, 2012 12:39 am

Quote
>That does resemble a crescent moon, doesn't it? But I would expect the moon to be brighter in such a long-exposure photo, and it looks a little bit ragged to me, i.e. not perfectly round. Another clue might be that its light is orange like the rocket trail. So perhaps the orange light of the rocket motor is shining on some curvy clouds? Could it have anything to do with SRB jettison?<

Two thing trouble me on this. If you blow the pic up, celestial movement is vertical, as it should be.

1) As previously mentioned, the round object seems to be the Moon, very nearly in New Phase.

2) Could the minor elongation of this object be due to the 3 min exposure?

Occham's Razor, folks, "the simplest answer is usually the right one. So, I put forward that this photo, as mentioned is a composite, has the Launch but the previous one includes the near New Moon.

biddie67
Science Officer
Posts: 483
Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:44 am
Location: Possum Hollow, NW Florida

Re: APOD: RBSP Night Launch (2012 Sep 02)

Post by biddie67 » Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:13 am

Following the links, I found a mention that James Van Allen discovered that there was also radiation belts around Saturn. Do any of the other planets in the Solar System have radiation belts? Does the Sun have anything like them?

User avatar
neufer
Vacationer at Tralfamadore
Posts: 15975
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:57 pm
Location: Alexandria, Virginia

Re: APOD: RBSP Night Launch (2012 Sep 02)

Post by neufer » Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:45 pm


neufer wrote:
ta152h0 wrote:
I am guessing the last MARS landing will be the Modus Operandi of future landings and no more gasbags, right ?
Gasbags work great for small & medium sized rovers.

And small & medium sized NON-rovers like Viking & Phoenix will use the old: heat shield/parachute/standard descent engines.

Only large probes like Curiosity will require these exotic new techniques to avoid kicking up too much crap from the surface.
Art Neuendorffer

User avatar
owlice
Guardian of the Codes
Posts: 8350
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2004 4:18 pm
Location: Washington, DC

Re: APOD: RBSP Night Launch (2012 Sep 02)

Post by owlice » Mon Sep 03, 2012 3:16 pm

neufer wrote:

AAAaaaaaaa! I want one! Are these kits??
A closed mouth gathers no foot.

User avatar
owlice
Guardian of the Codes
Posts: 8350
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2004 4:18 pm
Location: Washington, DC

Re: APOD: RBSP Night Launch (2012 Sep 02)

Post by owlice » Mon Sep 03, 2012 3:18 pm

A closed mouth gathers no foot.

User avatar
Beyond
500 Gigaderps
Posts: 6889
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:09 am
Location: BEYONDER LAND

Re: APOD: RBSP Night Launch (2012 Sep 02)

Post by Beyond » Mon Sep 03, 2012 5:46 pm

Ahhh, finally! Toys for the adults. er, um,, for educational purposes only(?), of course. :mrgreen:
To find the Truth, you must go Beyond.

cliffhardin67

Re: APOD: RBSP Night Launch (2012 Sep 02)

Post by cliffhardin67 » Thu Sep 06, 2012 5:54 am

My fiance and I were fortunate to see this launch from Missouri. I was out watching Jupiter through my telescope and took a break when I noticed a comet like object in the south. It was beautiful. We were able to watch it for about 30 minutes. When we could no longer view it with the naked eyes, we used the 5 inch refractor and continued to watch. After it was no longer visible I showed her Orion's nebula (M42). It was a beautiful morning here in the ozarks !