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Watch for a SpaceX rocket as it soars over the SoCal coast

Southern Californians looking skyward Monday night might catch a view of a SpaceX rocket after its launch from Vandenberg Space Force Base.

The rocket carrying 15 Starlink internet satellites into low-Earth orbit is scheduled to launch from the base northwest of Santa Barbara at 8:57 p.m. The launch is about an hour after sunset, a timeframe that might offer good viewing conditions from around Southern California.

Launches before sunrise and after sunset offer more spectacular viewing with a darker sky in the background and, possibly, a sunlit rocket.

Partly clouds skies are in the forecast for Los Angeles.

Backup launch windows would open at 10:30 p.m. and 11:28 p.m. on Tuesday. Click here to watch SpaceX coverage of the launch.

After separation, the first-stage booster will land on the Of Course I Still Love You droneship stationed in the Pacific Ocean. This will be the booster’s fifth flight.

SpaceX has a Starlink constellation of satellites orbiting Earth about 340 miles up, shuttled into space by the Hawthorne-based company’s rocketsThe Starlink network is designed to deliver high-speed internet anywhere around the globe.

 If light conditions are right, the satellites appear in a train as they parade across the night sky. The satellites are sometimes visible in the first few minutes after sundown and before sunrise when the sun is below the horizon, but the satellites are high enough to reflect direct sunlight.

Use the FindStarlink tracker to find the best upcoming viewing times.

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Source: NBC Los Angeles

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