Ariane 5 Rocket, Meteor, and Milky Way in one stunning image

Can you spot the plume of a rising Ariane 5 rocket in this surreal panoramic photo?

Taken on Feb. 7, the above image shows the Milky Way Galaxy, a fortuitous streak of a meteor and rising Ariane 5 rocket (on its 250th liftoff) launched few minutes before from Kourou, in French Guiana, in the night sky over Doi Inthanon National Park in Thailand.

According to Space.com, the evening launch from the frontier of the Amazon jungle was postponed one hour lto wait for stormy weather to pass over the space base.

The ascent lasted half-hour during which Ariane 5’s twin solid rocket boosters expended more than a million pounds of pre-packed powder propellant.

Ariane 5 is an expendable launch system belongin to the Ariane rocket family, used by ESA (European Space Agency) to deliver payloads into geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) or low Earth orbit (LEO).

Image credit: Matipon Tangmatitham via NASA

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About David Cenciotti 4406 Articles
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written four books.

3 Comments

  1. Just the exposure/light level differences between the city light and the Milky way tells me this is a Photoshoped composite of different images. It takes at least 30 seconds to properly expose the galaxy on camera, the rocket stage would of be a streak. Astro-photography is full of photoshoped composite works.

    • A fast lens of say f1.4 as wide as this appears (let’s say 24mm) and an iso of 3200 will get you an exposure similar to this at around 8-12 seconds. I think it’s pretty plausible that this was one single exposure.

      • At that exposure your City light will be so bright you won’t be able to see anything. Light pollution is the reason people don’t do astronomy near cities..

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