The Sciences

Time lapse: Chinese rocket caught on video

Bad AstronomyBy Phil PlaitJan 16, 2012 6:00 PM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Not that any time lapse video of the Very Large Telescope complex at Paranal in Chile would be normal, but this one by Farid Char caught something pretty unusual: what appears to be a Chinese rocket boosting a satellite to orbit!

[embed width="610"][/embed]

Did you catch it? From 14 - 18 seconds in, you can see it as a bright object moving against the setting stars to the west. If you pause the video, you can see what look like two plumes of gas coming from the object (though I wonder; a cone-shaped plume might look like this too seen from the side due to limb-brightening

). Given the time, it was most likely the Chinese satellite FengYun 2-F

moving into its transfer orbit (or possibly just venting some fuel), and it will slowly boost itself to a final geosynchronous orbit over the next few weeks. These time lapse videos are always pretty cool, but they're even better when they get a surprise like this!

Tip o' the lens cap to eundas on Twitter.

Related posts: - Time lapse: The Aurora - Time lapse: The spectacle of Comet Lovejoy - Time lapse video: ISS cometrise - Lunar eclipse time lapse

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

1 free articleSubscribe
Discover Magazine Logo
Want more?

Keep reading for as low as $1.99!


Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

To The Magazine

Save up to 70% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2022 Kalmbach Media Co.