SpaceX just reached a fantastic milestone as we bring 2022 to a close, launching the 60th Falcon 9 mission of the year. This SpaceX rocket launch, like many before it, was monumental for a number of reasons, including the beautiful visuals that it created in the predawn sky over Florida as the rocket barreled out of our atmosphere.
The launch was a carry mission for 54 new Starlink satellites, which will soon help improve coverage of Musk’s satellite internet service. The new satellites are the first upgraded versions of the SpaceX constellation fleet. Aside from adding more congestion to Earth’s orbit, though, the SpaceX rocket launch also created a brilliant light show.
Images of the launch were captured and shared by several on social media, with the official SpaceX account even joining the fun to add to the images circulating online. Other images showcase the fisheye streak, like this image from @ken_kremer on Twitter. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen these launches creating visual delights in the sky, either.
Previously, SpaceX rocket launches have led to the creation of mysterious flying whirlpools, which were caught on camera over Hawaii. We’ve also seen some really stunning explosions of light as the rockets make their way through the sky. These instances are known as twilight phenomenon, and they most commonly occur during predawn launches.
Most times, these phenomena are created by the exhaust particles from the rocket as they expand and collide with the rays of sunlight filtering through the sky. In this instance, the twilight phenomenon created by the SpaceX rocket launch isn’t nearly as striking, but it is still beautiful.
What’s really notable about this launch, though, is that SpaceX managed to hit its goal of 60 launches this year, though only a couple of days shy of running out of time. Despite what anyone might think of Elon Musk and the ongoing drama around his acquisition of Twitter, his space rocket company will continue to be a big player in the space exploration game for years to come.