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After delays, SpaceX rocket launch after sunset treats LA sky-watchers

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A SpaceX rocket that launched Monday evening delivered a sight to see in the sky over Southern California.

Originally scheduled for Thursday at Vandenberg Space Force Base west of Santa Barbara, the Falcon 9 rocket launch was postponed after a weekend storm. The rocket carrying 22 Starlink internet satellites into low-Earth orbit lifted off Monday at about 7:30 p.m., about 15 minutes after sunset.

Hours later, a mysterious light appeared in the night sky over Los Angeles.

The Falcon 9 and its exhaust plume were illuminated by the setting sun against the backdrop of a darkening sky, such as during the Feb. 8 SpaceX Falcon 9 launch.

Launches just after sunset and before sunrise usually provide the best views as the rocket reflects the sun's rays with a dark sky in the background.

SpaceX has a Starlink constellation of satellites orbiting Earth about 340 miles up, shuttled into space by the company's rockets. The Starlink network is designed to deliver high-speed internet anywhere around the globe.

If light conditions are right, the satellites appear in a train as they parade across the night sky. The satellites are sometimes visible in the first few minutes after sundown and before sunrise when the sun is below the horizon, but the satellites are high enough to reflect direct sunlight.

Use the FindStarlink tracker to find the best upcoming viewing times.

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