A photographer was out camping when a SpaceX rocket shot across the sky in front of him and he was lucky enough to capture spectacular video footage of it.
Justin Anderson was in Manitoba provincial park when he saw the remarkable sight as he gazed up into the stars at around 1:13 on Sunday morning.
— High Hopes Aurora w/ Justin Anderson (@AuroraJAnderson) June 20, 2022
“We just got back to our campsite when he pointed out to me saying, ‘Hey, what’s that in the sky?’ and we thought initially it was the moon just because it was so bright — and it just kept getting brighter and brighter,” he tells CTV News.
Anderson says he has never seen anything like it before and it was pure luck that he was able to record the celestial event.
“It’s been on my bucket list to shoot a rocket launch for a while,” he says. “But I was thinking I would have to plan a trip to Florida for that, not a trip to Nopiming Provincial Park.”
— High Hopes Aurora w/ Justin Anderson (@AuroraJAnderson) June 19, 2022
Scott Young, the planetarium astronomer at the Manitoba Museum, says there were similar sightings across North America.
“It matches exactly the path of a SpaceX rocket that was basically putting a satellite into orbit,” he tells CTV News.
“A lot of people could see it. They have no idea what it is at the time and then only afterward are we able to sort of figure out what it was they saw.”
Young says it takes a lot of luck to be able to see a rocket-like thing shooting across the stars. However, he says it is the perfect time of year to be looking skywards as the northern hemisphere approaches the summer solstice.
During this time the sky from our perspective is dark, but everything in orbit is lit up by sunlight, giving stargazers quite a show.
“If you don’t see a new rocket launch, you might see an old rocket that is tumbling around and flashing or a satellite where the sun glints off of the solar panel,” he says.
“There’s always something going on up there in the sky, so it’s always worth watching.”
Young says what makes these sorts of sightings so spectacular is the fact that you don’t need specialized equipment to see them — photographers just have to be in the right place at the right time.
A Talented Astrophotographer
Anderson was recently featured on PetaPixel for his photo of a trio of celestial elements pictured together. During the total lunar eclipse, he was able to capture the Blood Moon, aurora, and the Milky Way galaxy together in one stunning panorama.
Image credits: Photos by Justin Anderson.