Not a comet or UFO! SpaceX rocket launch dazzles in predawn sky

You may have thought the time change threw you off, but you weren’t seeing things early Sunday morning

SpaceX launch as seen by Tammy Roush in Dublin (Copyright 2021 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

ROANOKE, Va. – At 6:01 Sunday morning, SpaceX launched yet another rocket in its StarLink mission.

Liftoff occurred from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, but so many of us up and down the East Coast could bare witness to it. The trail left behind was enough to make you think that a) you were seeing things or b) it was some sort of comet.

In reality, it was the effect that the curvature of the earth has on launches like this. The sun hadn’t risen here yet, but it had offshore. The sun’s light, low on the horizon, was enough to provide an extra glow to the rocket and its vapor trail.

Keep scrolling below for more pictures, videos and a timelapse of the launch as seen from Virginia and Maryland.

Video submitted by Phillip Hurt in Roanoke

Picture submitted by Justin Bayes in Cascade

Photo of the SpaceX rocket launch as seen from Cascade - Justin Bayes (Copyright 2021 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

Timelapse view from Maryland

About the Author:

Meteorologist Chris Michaels is an American Meteorological Society (AMS) Certified Broadcaster, forecasting weather conditions in southwest Virginia on WSLS 10 News from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. weekdays on Virginia Today.