Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Flame Trench Regular Captures Once-In-A-Blue Moon Rocket Shot

Here's a once-in-a-blue-moon photograph:

Taken Sunday evening by Flame Trench regular Billy Cusack, it shows a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket soaring toward orbit with a classified National Reconnaissance Office spacecraft onboard. A seasonal blue moon is seen rising along with the rocket.

For many Space Coast rocket watchers, the launch was obscured by clouds surrounding the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. This view was captured in Tampa.

A seasonal blue moon is the third full moon in a season that includes four full moons. The term was first recorded in early issues of the Maine Farmers' Almanac, according to infoplease.com.

A fourth full moon of the quarter will rise Dec. 21.

A more recent, and perhaps more recognized definition, is the second full moon in a calendar month. The definition came from a mistaken interpretation in a March 1946 issue of Sky & Telescope, according to space.com

ABOUT THE IMAGE: Click to enlarge the image of a Delta IV Heavy rocket carrying a classified payload towad orbit. Then click the enlarged image for an even bigger, more detailed view. Photo Credit: Billy Cusack

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