SpaceX's predawn Starlink satellite launch looks simply stunning in these Twitter photos

When SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket into space Saturday (June 13), it delivered 58 Starlink satellites and three Planet SkySats into orbit. The mission was a success. It also looked amazing. 

That's because SpaceX launched the Falcon 9 rocket at 5:21 a.m. EDT (0921 GMT), just over an hour before sunrise, from Space Launch Complex 40 of the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. As the rocket climbed into the predawn sky, its exhaust plume was illuminated by sunlight, creating a dazzling view.

Some observers even reported seeing the Falcon 9 rocket's reentry maneuver as it touched down on SpaceX's drone ship Of Course I Still Love You about 350 miles (600 kilometers) away in the Atlantic Ocean. You can see some of those amazing launch views from the photographers and spectators who shared the sight on Twitter below. 

Related: SpaceX's Starlink satellite megaconstellation launches in photos

(Image credit: Amy Thompson) contributor Amy Thompson captured this view of the launch from a viewing site near the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station just after the Falcon 9's liftoff. She described the sight as as a "nebula hanging in the sky" after the Falcon 9 headed to orbit.

SpaceX successfully landed its Falcon 9 rocket booster after the successful Starlink launch. You can see that video below as provided by SpaceX.

And now, back to the amazing spectator photos!

SpaceX's Falcon 9 launch on Saturday was the ninth mission to launch dozens of Starlink internet satellites at one time as the company builds a megaconstellation in orbit. The satellites are designed to provide high-speed internet access anywhere on Earth, particularly in remote and under served locations. 

The Falcon 9 launch was the second of three commercial launches on Saturday. 

About four hours earlier, a Rocket Lab Electron booster launched five small satellites into orbit from a pad on the Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand. Then, nearly 11 hours later, the Japanese start-up Interstellar Technologies attempted to launch its Momo-F5 sounding rocket from Taiki Town, Hokkaido, but that mission failed to reach suborbital space.

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Tariq Malik

Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. In October 2022, Tariq received the Harry Kolcum Award for excellence in space reporting from the National Space Club Florida Committee. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. You can find Tariq at and as the co-host to the This Week In Space podcast with space historian Rod Pyle on the TWiT network. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter @tariqjmalik.