Rocket Launch Never Looked As Overwhelming As This

NASA has just released this stunning photo of the latest Antares rocket launch and I am in constant awe of it. The Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket, with the Cygnus cargo spacecraft aboard, was launched from Pad-0A of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS), Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, NASA Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia.

What makes this photo so special? As far as I know this is the ever first infrared photo of a rocket launch. NASA's photographer, Bill Ingalls captured this perfect liftoff moment with a modified digital SLR camera, with an image sensor sensitive to infrared light or with lens equipped with infrared filter. The result is this false color but truly gorgeous image, look at it in full size:

Rocket Launch Never Looked As Overwhelming As This

Cygnus is on its way to rendezvous with the space station. The spacecraft will deliver about 1,300 pounds (589 kilograms) of cargo, including food and clothing, to the Expedition 37 crew.

Image Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls