SpaceX, the southern California-based aerospace company helmed by Elon Musk, is in the business of pushing scientific boundaries. Needless to say, it's unsurprising that the company's recent rocket launch looked mesmerizing when it was captured by a photographer in Yuma, Arizona last Friday.
Even though the Falcon 9 rocket launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, Jesse Watson was able to piece together an awe-inducing timelapse of its ascent from his expertly positioned perch 150 miles away. The white streaks darting through the pale blue sky caused some onlookers to think the rocket was a UFO. While they were wrong, the effect was one of eeriness. Looking at Watson's footage, you'd be remiss to think extraterrestrial life wasn't just beyond the curtain.
Using The Photographer’s Ephemeris, a landscape photography tool, and Google Maps to stake out his location, he caught the light show with four different cameras and five lenses. The result is a visual tapestry of 2,452 still images, further condensed into another 1,315 images.
And yeah, it looks pretty trippy.
"I was a little off target on my initial shot, but... I was able to crop into the 6K time-lapse sequence and salvage the framing," Watson wrote in the video's description.
What's even more jarring, the rocket landed safely on Earth in an upright position, as if it hadn't just charted to the outer recesses of the atmosphere. Now, if Elon Musk could just stop tweeting his phone number.