Amateur photographer Kevin Hsu was just finishing up a shift as resident radiologist at Medical Center in the Bronx, N.Y. when he learned NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) moon probe would be soaring across the night sky over New York City in roughly twenty minutes — just enough time to grab a camera to capture the show.
“Through Google Earth I discovered that my sliver of a view of the city between buildings afforded me a view of the launch,” Hsu wrote SPACE.com via email. “I grabbed my camera and balanced it on the concrete window sill outside of my window nine stories up. And while listening to the launch stream from the NASA site, I was able to start the 30-second exposure with my Pentax camera.”
LADEE launched into space atop a new Minotaur V rocket on Friday, Sept. 6 at 11:27 p.m. EDT (0327 Sept. 7 GMT) from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Va. LADEE, now in orbit around the moon, is designed to study the moon’s thin atmosphere as well as investigate a 40-year-old moon dust mystery first observed by Apollo astronauts during NASA's lunar landings in the 1960s and 1970s. [How NASA's LADEE Moon Probe Works (Infographic)]
Readers and photographers throughout the U.S. East Coast flooded SPACE.com with some amazing images of the launch. Crowds also watched the popular event live from massive screens at Times Square in New York City, as well as from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, according to NASA officials. [See more photos of the launch here]
To see more amazing night sky photos submitted by SPACE.com readers, visit our astrophotography archive.