Earlier today, SpaceX made history with the launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket. Watching the webcast was an absolutely incredible experience.  Fast forward to just about 2 hours ago and I found myself out in the Anza Borrego Desert taking photos of the stars when something unexpected happened.

I left some of my usual equipment home and was testing out a star tracker with a telephoto lens. I even left my second tripod home as I didn't have plans to use it. When Mark Jacobs and I noticed the bright light to the South, I immediately knew it was a rocket, but I was a bit confused.  Originally, there was a rocket launch scheduled for 11:35PM from Vandenberg AFB that was scrubbed and the timing wouldn't have lined up either.

I ran back to my car to grab my second camera body with had the Sigma 24mm f1.4 ART lens on it and back to my tripod to try and fire off a few photos. (This was a much more appropriate lens for this type of image). I quickly adjusted the settings and was able to fire off about 5 photos before it faded. 

We watched a bright dot turn in to a large large plume that filled the sky and yelled back and forth to each other in excitement. Just a few minutes later Elon Musk confirmed the third stage burn of Falcon Heavy was a success and it all made sense. We just unknowingly saw and photographed the third stage.

All images shot with:

Nikon D800E - Sigma 24mm f1.4 ART

Induro GTT104

Edited on Dell XPS 9560

Falcon Heavy Third Burn - Anza Borrego Desert - San Diego, California

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