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Watch: Glowing SpaceX rocket soars into the midnight sky over downtown LA

A SpaceX rocket soared like a glowing airborne candle into the sky over Los Angeles early Friday in a spectacular sight for night owls.

The Falcon 9 rocket launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base northwest of Santa Barbara just after midnight. The rocket streaked south along the Southern California coast, appearing behind the lights of downtown Los Angeles’ skyscrapers.

The rocket carried 22 Starlink internet satellites into low-Earth orbit.

The rocket and its exhaust plume are sometimes visible for hundreds of miles as it soars south along the coast, if skies are clear. Launches just after sunset and before sunrise usually provide the best views as the rocket reflects the sun’s rays against the backdrop of a darkened sky.

SpaceX has a Starlink constellation of satellites orbiting Earth about 340 miles up, shuttled into space by the 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.

Source: NBC Los Angeles

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