Tonight there is a scheduled launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 from Vandenberg that has the potential for an impressive show in the evening sky. Here is an excerpt from the Launch Alert email list:


                      FRIDAY LAUNCH VISIBILITY

Friday evening's launch of a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg AFB
appears to be on schedule. The vehicle is slated to lift off from
south base at 17:27:23 PST and carry several Iridium NEXT commercial
communications satellites into orbit.

Following liftoff, the vehicle will climb vertically for several
before it begins a gradual turn and heads south.

The rocket's bright flame should be visible over a wide area. However,
since this launch occurs 30 minutes after Vandenberg AFB sunset, it
could be impressive beginning at T+ 2 minutes 12 seconds when
simulations show the exhaust plume will be illuminated at high
altitude by the sun. 


If the launch happens on time, at 5:27 p.m., it should appear as a remarkable exhaust plume in the general direction of south west.

Best regards,
Morris Jones
Monrovia, CA
Old Town Sidewalk Astronomers
Mojo's Blog