This graceful arc traces a Delta rocket climbing through
Thursday's early morning skies over
Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, USA.
Snug inside the rocket's Centaur upper stage were
Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP),
now in separate orbits within planet Earth's Van Allen
Reflected in the Turn Basin
from a vantage point about 3 miles from
Space Launch Complex 41, the scene was captured
in a composite of two exposures.
One highlights the dramatic play of launch pad lighting, clouds, and sky.
A subsequent 3 minute long exposure records the rocket's fiery trail.
While most spacecraft try to avoid
the radiation belts,
named for their discoverer James Van Allen,
RBSP's mission will be to explore their dynamic and harsh conditions.