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Florida photographer captures SpaceX launch with an almost-full moon

After two scrubbed launches, Palm Bay rocket photographer had all the ingredients for a spectacular photo.
 
The SpaceX Falcon 9 is seen transitioning an almost full moon just after takeoff Saturday, Oct. 8, from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
The SpaceX Falcon 9 is seen transitioning an almost full moon just after takeoff Saturday, Oct. 8, from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. [ Photo by Nicholas D'Alessandro ]
Published Oct. 10, 2022|Updated Oct. 10, 2022

Nicholas D’Alessandro, 30, of Palm Bay made this incredible image of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket against an almost-full moon just after launch on Saturday night from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. D’Alessandro and several other photographers used software developed by a rocket enthusiast that overlays the launch trajectory with features in the sky.

“Declan Murphy made a breakthrough for rocket photographers in recent years by developing an app called Flight Club that overlays any upcoming launch trajectory with the features of the sky,” D’Alessandro said. After three scrubbed attempts to launch the Falcon 9, D’Alessandro saw all the right ingredients come together to make this image.

“The moon would be increasingly full and rising lower on the horizon as the days got closer to launch,” he said. “The weather was also beautifully clear.”

D’Alessandro used a Canon R5 digital mirrorless camera with a Sigma 150-600 mm lens and a 2x teleconverter, which yields a focal length of 1,200 mm.