During select rocket launches, when the sun has just set below the horizon or has yet to rise, a unique phenomenon can occur – known by space fans as a jellyfish. This occurs when the exhaust in the high atmosphere is illuminated by the sun, but viewed from darkness.
During SpaceX’s recent Intelsat Galaxy 33 & 34 launch, the Falcon 9 lifted off at 7:05 p.m. With the sun having just barely set it was still a little bit early to see the most brilliant of the jellyfish effect from back on land, but SpaceX’s droneship positioned a few hundred kilometers down range was in the perfect position to see the phenomena.
SpaceX shared a glimpse of the view during the live broadcast, but that led to fans asking for the full video. SpaceX obliged, sharing a timelapse of the launch capture by the drone ships camera from liftoff to landing – take a look.
We’ve seen the jellyfish effect from several other SpaceX missions launching out of the space coast, including Starlink group 4-17 and Inspiration 4, but this unique perspective made the already rare effect that much more special.