APOD: Milky Way, Launch, and Landing (2019 May 11)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
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APOD: Milky Way, Launch, and Landing (2019 May 11)

Post by APOD Robot » Fri May 10, 2019 11:15 pm

Image Milky Way, Launch, and Landing

Explanation: The Milky Way doesn't look quite this colorful and bright to the eye, but a rocket launch does. So a separate deep exposure with a sensitive digital camera was used in this composite skyscape to bring out our galaxy's central crowded starfields and cosmic dust clouds. In the scene from Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, a nine minute long exposure begun about 20 minutes after the Miky Way image recorded a rocket launch and landing. The Falcon 9 rocket, named for the Millennium Falcon of Star Wars fame, appropriately launched a Dragon resupply ship to the International Space Station in the early morning hours of May the 4th. The plume and flare at the peak of the launch arc mark the rocket's first stage boost back burn. Two shorter diagonal streaks are the rocket engines bringing the Falcon 9 stage back to an offshore landing on autonomous drone ship Of course I Still Love You.

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Confused
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Re: APOD: Milky Way, Launch, and Landing (2019 May 11)

Post by Confused » Sat May 11, 2019 5:06 am

I think this is the most confusing explanation I have read. It starts out by saying something about the Milky Way and I got the impression it was going to say the teeny tiny amount of light here on Earth illuminated the entire Milky Way.

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Ann
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Re: APOD: Milky Way, Launch, and Landing (2019 May 11)

Post by Ann » Sat May 11, 2019 6:48 am

Confused wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 5:06 am
I think this is the most confusing explanation I have read. It starts out by saying something about the Milky Way and I got the impression it was going to say the teeny tiny amount of light here on Earth illuminated the entire Milky Way.
The Milky Way shines by its own light, and it emits a lot of light:
EarthSky wrote:

The Milky Way galaxy is a collection of hundreds of billions of stars. This island of stars contains our sun and planets. Astronomers have estimated that the total luminosity of the central dozen or so light-years of our galaxy is equal to about 10 million suns. That sounds big and bright – until you recall that the center of our galaxy is 25,000 light-years away.
...
If there were no dust between us and the galactic center, the light of all the stars located toward the galaxy’s core would easily exceed that of a full moon. If you looked in that direction, you wouldn’t see much else but the combined glow of billions of stars.
But because the core of the Milky Way is totally hidden by dust from our vantage point, so that we can't see it at all with our eyes, and because the stars that we can see inside the glowing band of the Milky Way are generally very far away and widely separated, the Milky Way looks very faint to us in the sky. But the trail of the launch in today's APOD is very bright.

Therefore it is impossible to capture both the bright launch trail of the rocket and a lot of details in the faint light of the Milky Way in just one exposure. Because of that, today's APOD is a combined stitched together image of two different exposures, one of the galaxy, on e of the rocket launch. There is no way it could have been otherwise.

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De58te
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Re: APOD: Milky Way, Launch, and Landing (2019 May 11)

Post by De58te » Sat May 11, 2019 10:16 am

Or, alternate explanation, it could be two fireflies, only a foot away from the camera lens, in a time lapse photo, mating, and producing a blue baby.

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Re: APOD: Milky Way, Launch, and Landing (2019 May 11)

Post by orin stepanek » Sat May 11, 2019 11:35 am

I noticed a small line a little left of the launch! Is this another launch further out? :shock:
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Re: APOD: Milky Way, Launch, and Landing (2019 May 11)

Post by Roadsmosttraveled » Sat May 11, 2019 12:31 pm

That line of light is the boost back from the Falcon 9 core. The that core was making a landing attempt twenty nautical miles off shore on SpaceX drone ship.

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Re: APOD: Milky Way, Launch, and Landing (2019 May 11)

Post by Roadsmosttraveled » Sat May 11, 2019 12:55 pm

The thing for me is I have shot rocket launches with long exposure in Titusville. I have even shot the core in Carrabelle Florida. Even with a no moon night, Titusville FL is just too polluted with light to see the core. Yes, there are two exposures put together to create one shot. But the core was not taken from Titusville area. From the view we see of the launch, the camera man was facing a South by South East direction and the core should have been more South and even a little to the West. Don't get me wrong, I love the image concept! Just not accurate to the location.

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Re: APOD: Milky Way, Launch, and Landing (2019 May 11)

Post by orin stepanek » Sat May 11, 2019 3:17 pm

Roadsmosttraveled wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 12:31 pm
That line of light is the boost back from the Falcon 9 core. The that core was making a landing attempt twenty nautical miles off shore on SpaceX drone ship.
Thank you
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Re: APOD: Milky Way, Launch, and Landing (2019 May 11)

Post by neufer » Sat May 11, 2019 4:21 pm

Roadsmosttraveled wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 12:55 pm

The thing for me is I have shot rocket launches with long exposure in Titusville. I have even shot the core in Carrabelle Florida. Even with a no moon night, Titusville FL is just too polluted with light to see the core. Yes, there are two exposures put together to create one shot. But the core was not taken from Titusville area. From the view we see of the launch, the camera man was facing a South by South East direction and the core should have been more South and even a little to the West. Don't get me wrong, I love the image concept! Just not accurate to the location.
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