SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Launch from Jesse Watson on Vimeo.Follow...

SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Launch from Jesse Watson on Vimeo.

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Timelapse video of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch from Vandenberg AFB as seen from Yuma, Arizona

I’ve been following the SpaceX launches online for some time now and have been in awe of the footage I’ve seen. I found out about this specific launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base a few days prior to the event. I wanted to capture this amazing spectacle in a fashion that I haven’t seen previously, as most of what I have seen is cell phones video or news reels.

This particular launch was close to my hometown in Yuma, Arizona, roughly 400 miles away but perfectly viewable for people in Arizona. I’ve one previous rocket launch years ago from White Sands Missile range in the morning time at sunrise and knew with the correct lighting from sunset that this launch had the opportunity to pop in a dramatic fashion.

I scouted four locations that had foregrounds to add depth to the imagery and was uniquely inspiring to my hometown. Location choices were between a favorite local hiking mountain, the Imperial Sand Dunes, or a small hill that resides in the historic downtown area overlooking the city. I ended up choosing the location that overlooked the city, partially because it was the easiest to access with all of my time-lapse gear. I used The Photographer’s Ephemeris and Google Maps to help scouting and initial line up.

I have never shot a rocket launch before, so I did not know exactly what to expect as far as exposure or precise location of the rocket in the horizon. I wanted to be prepared to capture comprehensive coverage of the spectacle. Therefore I packed four cameras and five lenses, to cover wide to telephoto details of the scene. Three of the cameras were rolling time-lapse and 1 was setup for telephoto video.

I arrived about two hours before launch time (1827 Arizona time) to have my gear prepped and ready for action. I started rolling the time-lapse sequences about 45 minutes prior to launch to capture some lead in footage. 1827 came by and I didn’t see anything, I was a little disheartened at first thinking maybe it wouldn’t show up or that something happened and they did not launch, but continued to roll the time-lapses. Then after what seemed like ages, but in reality probably only a minute or two the Falcon 9 rocket blasted into the horizon and my cameras’ field of view.

I was a little off target on my initial shot, but thanks to the high resolution aspect of shooting time-lapse on the Nikon D810 and wide angle lens, I was able to crop into the 6K time-lapse sequence and salvage the framing. I wrapped up a few minutes after the glowing contrail faded. I ended up shooting 2452 images and culled that down to 1315 images for the final project edited in Adobe After Effects and Adobe Premiere Pro.

Tech Stuff:
Big Camera x2: amzn.to/2hxEYvq
Lens: amzn.to/2D3Xilb
Little Camera: amzn.to/2C3ifNE
Smaller Camera: amzn.to/2BFvlnb
Lens: amzn.to/2BGtRcF
Bag: amzn.to/2DaJ2Ha
RRS and Manfrotto tripods

Jesse Watson
Email for licensing and rights:

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Etherparty & RSK Partnership Fuels the Future Adoption of Smart Contract Technology December 31, 2017 at 05:21PM

Seasons Greetings Everyone! The Etherparty team is delighted to provide the latest update on our Partnership with RSK which was announced this past August. The RSK integration has now been completed and is available on the Etherparty platform beta for registered users to test.


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Historic GIFs wot I did December 27, 2017 at 08:21AM

The animation of the Bodleian’s collections lent them new life. Beautiful images painstakingly made by monks and illustrators hundreds of years ago leapt from their pages anew onto Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr feeds.


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I think adopting a strong policy makes sense, as open access will yield greater benefits from the… December 27, 2017 at 08:21AM

I think adopting a strong policy makes sense, as open access will yield greater benefits from the Moore Foundation’s investments. One issue with the proposed policy is that it lacks licensing specifics. Lot’s of pseudo-open licenses are masquerading under the “open” title these days.


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I understand your frustration. – Daniel Himmelstein – Medium December 27, 2017 at 08:21AM

I understand your frustration. You and Jessica — who are both fighting to make science more open — donated your analyses to the public. Then along comes a big subscription publisher whose styling and referencing portrays the figure as an original analysis.


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Stuck transaction? How to fix this dreaded problem using the power of bitcoin December 27, 2017 at 01:47AM

If you’d like to stay up to date on the most important bitcoin news and development, please consider subscribing to my weekly newsletter Signal Chain. I have some of my bitcoin in Bread wallet and use it for sending bitcoin for everyday transactions.


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The cost of supporting the B2X fork: how to lose $100m in ten days December 27, 2017 at 01:47AM

Sometime next week, Bitcoin nodes running the BTC1 client are expected to mine a block that would be invalid under the rules of Bitcoin Core, thus creating a fork of the Bitcoin blockchain.


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Segwit2x Bugs Explained December 27, 2017 at 01:41AM

The Segwit2x hard fork was called off a little over a week ago in an email post to the 2x mailing list. Several parties threatened to split the network anyway, and we eagerly waited for block 494784 to see whether someone would mine the 2x hard fork or not.


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To choose or not to choose December 27, 2017 at 01:36AM

Nice post. I’m a biomedical data scientist and have posted preprints on both bioRxiv and PeerJ Preprints. I agree with your assessment. PeerJ Preprints has a nicer user interface and better technology. However, bioRxiv gets more attention and views.


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WhalePanda I’m not able to download the original file at https December 27, 2017 at 01:36AM

WhalePanda I’m not able to download the original file at http://bit.ly/2DgZV30 to verify that it’s SHA-256 hash is `d3e7183ce9967880c1d73d46ddcadbfcb5c64ba92b3f9ae0d4ae5a910d1060d8`. I’m getting the following error in my browser: DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN.


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Makes sense to me. – Kyle Ben – Medium December 27, 2017 at 01:36AM

Makes sense to me. SegWit will lead to excess technical code debt and will in the long run, hand over development to the private company who has the patents on (part of) SegWit, BlockStream, so on Bitcoin they need to oppose this disaster at all costs.


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The foul smell of state cryptocurrency legislation December 27, 2017 at 01:36AM

Back in January 2017 I was contacted by one of the members of the Bitcoin Foundation, Theo Chino. Theo needed help. It turned out that Theo was the only person that was contesting the validity of the BitLicense in New York state.


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Final thoughts before the 2X fork December 27, 2017 at 01:26AM

I know it’s early for a “final thoughts” post but considering that I’m travelling the next week I wanted to do this now. This was initially a tweet storm that got a bit too long so I decided to write it down in a short article.


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Time stamped chatlogs: Why Jihan and Jiang want to block segwit at all cost. December 27, 2017 at 01:21AM

The following Bitcoin blockchain time stamped chatlog is between Chinese miners and a Litecoin developer discussing activating Segwit on Litecoin. These are chatlogs from November/December 2016, we know that now they are signaling Segwit on Litecoin but for some reason still oppose it on Bitcoin.


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Did the SEC just stop the music at the token party? December 27, 2017 at 01:16AM

Yesterday the SEC made the unfortunate, but not unexpected announcement, that crypto-tokens and coins are likely securities, unless they qualify for an exemption. The most likely exemptions would relate to tokens or coin offerings that would fail the Howey test and have project utility.


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A flaw in Bitcoin’s design created the incentives for ICOs & now chain forks: here’s why December 27, 2017 at 01:16AM

We’re heading into what could well be a $&!* storm in the cryptocurrency space during November 2017 with plans afoot for creating both BTG and B2X Bitcoin chains. BTG is a fork of BTC and depending on whom you ask, either B2X or BTC will be the fork from the original Bitcoin chain.


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HashFlare 2.0: To Infinity and Beyond December 23, 2017 at 01:45AM

HashFlare is changing. When we just started building our service in 2015, we didn’t expect that two and a half years down the road it would be used by over a million people.


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Chrome is Not the Standard December 22, 2017 at 09:50PM

Over the past few years, I’ve increasingly seen articles with headlines that run something like, “New Feature Coming To the Web”—followed by content which described how Chrome had implemented an experimental new feature. “You’ll be able to use this soon!” has been the promise.


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Here's how Google Maps knows when there is traffic December 22, 2017 at 09:49PM

Google Maps is a very useful tool for navigating your way around the world and getting to your destination as quickly as possible.  One way it accomplishes this is by predicting traffic and calculating the fastest route.


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9 Google Maps tips that will make your life way easier December 22, 2017 at 09:48PM

Google Maps helps you send directions from your computer to your phone, so you can hit the road faster. How it works: Find a place on Google Map’s desktop site and select the Send to Phone option.


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Google Maps Smarty Pins December 22, 2017 at 09:48PM


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Google Maps’s Moat December 22, 2017 at 09:48PM

Justin O’Beirne of San Francisco, California. Essays, book, and contact information. Over the past year, we’ve been comparing Google Maps and Apple Maps in New York, San Francisco, and London—but some of the biggest differences are outside of large cities.


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Whoppercoin: cryptocurrency arbitrage December 22, 2017 at 09:45PM

Believe it or not, there is such a thing as Whoppercoin.Financial illiteracy is another thing. Last month Burger King (BK) launched in Russia a loyalty program supported by a cryptocurrency called “Whoppercoin”.


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Bitcoin Is Crashing December 20, 2017 at 06:43PM

Shortly after the US equity market closed this evening, someone decided it was time to dump a few hundred Bitcoin, sending the price plunging below $17,000… Did another HODLer just fold?


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Countries Rush for Upper Hand in Antarctica December 15, 2017 at 08:21PM

On a glacier-filled island with fjords and elephant seals, Russia has built Antarctica’s first Orthodox church on a hill overlooking its research base, transporting the logs all the way from Siberia.


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Scientists in Antarctica Drink a Lot. Maybe Too Much December 15, 2017 at 08:21PM

Working in Antarctica can be one of the most exhilarating jobs on Earth. Or one of the most depressing. Owing to distance and the difficulty of getting onto and off of the continent, most people who go spend months there. The beauty and isolation both inspires and crushes.


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Melt may explain Antarctica's sea ice expansion December 15, 2017 at 08:20PM

Climate change is expanding Antarctica’s sea ice, according to a scientific study in the journal Nature Geoscience. The paradoxical phenomenon is thought to be caused by relatively cold plumes of fresh water derived from melting beneath the Antarctic ice shelves.


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What Force Created These Bizarre Cubes in Antarctica's Ice? December 15, 2017 at 08:20PM

Antarctica isn’t just a land of ice — sometimes, in some places, it appears to be a land of giant ice cubes. But why? How do these huge, rectangular formations appear in the inhuman, irregular landscape of the southern continent?


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Meet the Greenland Shark. It Could Be the Longest-Living Vertebrate. December 15, 2017 at 08:06PM

The Greenland shark is a ludicrously late bloomer. This lazy-looking, Arctic predator reaches sexual maturity when it’s about 150 years old. Though more than a century of prepubescence might sound bad, there’s a bright side for the sea creature.


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There Is a Shark That Can Live for 400 Years December 15, 2017 at 08:06PM

Scientists just named the longest-living species of vertebrate animal. It’s a creature that can live up to 400 years old, almost twice the lifespan of the oldest giant tortoises or bowhead whales, nature’s next runners-up. These lords of longevity are the Greenland sharks, Somniosus microcephalus.


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No, Scientists Haven't Found a 512-Year-Old Greenland Shark December 15, 2017 at 08:06PM

Headlines circulating on the internet today (Dec. 14) breathlessly described the discovery of a 512-year-old shark — but they’re a little off the mark.


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What’s next: ICO report and plans of Polybius December 13, 2017 at 05:54PM

On July 5th, the Polybius crowdfunding ICO has finished, and now, after five weeks of worries, joys (and at times difficulties), we can safely say that the ICO has not only achieved its goals, but it managed to exceed most expectations.


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How to Work 40 Hours in 16.7 (The Simple Technique That Gave Me My Life Back) December 13, 2017 at 01:55AM

Sound familiar? Looking back, I realize I used my work to try and fill a void in myself. The problem was that this void was like a black hole. No matter how many hours I worked, it never seemed to fill it up. If anything, it made me feel worse.


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Where Millennials Come From December 13, 2017 at 01:55AM

Imagine, as I often do, that our world were to end tomorrow, and that alien researchers many years in the future were tasked with reconstructing the demise of civilization from the news.


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Animals That Look Like They’re About To Drop The Hottest Albums Ever December 13, 2017 at 01:55AM

Photo by A. Manea


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Jony Ive Dishes On Apple Rumors And His Design Team In Rare Interview December 13, 2017 at 01:55AM

Jony Ive helms the most secretive design lab in the world at Apple. But aside from the top secret mystique, the soft spoken Ive is notoriously private, often giving just one interview a year.


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The 10/10/10 Rule For Tough Decisions December 13, 2017 at 01:54AM

It’s easy to lose perspective when we’re facing a thorny dilemma. Blinded by the particulars of the situation, we’ll waffle and agonize, changing our mind from day to day. Perhaps our worst enemy in resolving these conflicts is short-term emotion, which can be an unreliable adviser.


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The secret rules of the internet December 13, 2017 at 01:54AM

Julie Mora-Blanco remembers the day, in the summer of 2006, when the reality of her new job sunk in.


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Buying organic veggies at the supermarket is a waste of money December 13, 2017 at 01:54AM

It has happened to all of us. You’re standing in the produce aisle, just trying to buy some zucchini, when you face the inevitable choice: Organic or regular?


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What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team December 13, 2017 at 01:54AM

Like most 25-year-olds, Julia Rozovsky wasn’t sure what she wanted to do with her life. She had worked at a consulting firm, but it wasn’t a good match. Then she became a researcher for two professors at Harvard, which was interesting but lonely. Maybe a big corporation would be a better fit.


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I Used to Be a Human Being December 13, 2017 at 01:54AM

I was sitting in a large meditation hall in a converted novitiate in central Massachusetts when I reached into my pocket for my iPhone. A woman in the front of the room gamely held a basket in front of her, beaming beneficently, like a priest with a collection plate.


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Former Facebook exec says social media is ripping apart society December 13, 2017 at 01:54AM

Another former Facebook executive has spoken out about the harm the social network is doing to civil society around the world. Chamath Palihapitiya, who joined Facebook in 2007 and became its vice president for user growth, said he feels “tremendous guilt” about the company he helped make.


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I bought $250 in bitcoin. Here's what I learned December 13, 2017 at 01:54AM

Some people kill time at the airport by browsing duty-free shops. I decided to shop for bitcoin. But first, there are two things you should know about me: I tend to be almost as afraid of losing money investing as I am of flying. On some level, I figured one fear might cancel out the other.


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Cheetahs heading towards extinction as population crashes December 13, 2017 at 01:54AM

The sleek, speedy cheetah is rapidly heading towards extinction according to a new study into declining numbers. The report estimates that there are just 7,100 of the world’s fastest mammals now left in the wild.


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What If Things Start To Think For Themselves? (Paid Post by HPE From NYTimes.com) December 13, 2017 at 01:53AM

Site Search Navigation


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Forget About Setting Goals. Focus on This Instead. December 13, 2017 at 01:53AM

We all have things that we want to achieve in our lives — getting into the better shape, building a successful business, raising a wonderful family, writing a best-selling book, winning a championship, and so on.


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The Myth of Quality Time December 13, 2017 at 01:53AM

EVERY summer for many years now, my family has kept to our ritual. All 20 of us — my siblings, my dad, our better halves, my nieces and nephews — find a beach house big enough to fit the whole unruly clan. We journey to it from our different states and time zones.


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Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person December 13, 2017 at 01:53AM

IT’S one of the things we are most afraid might happen to us. We go to great lengths to avoid it. And yet we do it all the same: We marry the wrong person. Partly, it’s because we have a bewildering array of problems that emerge when we try to get close to others.


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Tinder vs Bumble: Which One Is Better? December 13, 2017 at 01:53AM

Believe it or not, not too long ago, online dating was barely considered culturally acceptable. It was viewed as a wasteland of the truly lonely and desperate, only to be used as a last resort when all other options had failed.


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Expelling Demons in Nevada December 13, 2017 at 01:53AM

About 10 miles from the shrieking lights of the Las Vegas Strip, the sand-colored Christ the Servant Lutheran Church sits in a nondescript parking lot, on an equally nondescript and equally sand-colored street.


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Why China’s AI push is worrying December 13, 2017 at 01:42AM

IMAGINE the perfect environment for developing artificial intelligence (AI). The ingredients would include masses of processing power, lots of computer-science boffins, a torrent of capital—and abundant data with which to train machines to recognise and respond to patterns.


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