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Mars Science Laboratory on its way - 2

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Uploaded on Nov 26, 2011

On the 26th of November 2011, the Mars Science Laboratory was launched from Cape Canaveral. This timelapse sequence shows a plume drifting against the background stars, probably caused by venting from the Centaur rocket after it carried out a burn over the Indian Ocean.

This is a more detailed view of part of 'Mars Science Laboratory on its way - 1'.

Above the plume is the bright star Sirius, and above that, the open star cluster Messier 41.

This sequence was built from cropped & processed frames (originals: JPEG; 3504x2336, cropped to 739x1009).

Length of each exposure 10-seconds, but 2s between each, so exposure midpoints are 12s apart.

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NB: exposure times previously stated incorrectly.
See third video for correct details of full sequence:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpghu6...
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Observing site: -27.630779,152.966324, altitude 40m approx.

Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium colleague Mark Rigby was observing visually, from about 16.15 UT, and assisted with initial analysis of the appearance of the plume. There are more images and discussion of this event on the Planetarium's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BrisbanePlan...

More info from Duncan Waldron: http://ausalba.weebly.com/contact.html (Twitter: @ozalba)

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MSL is carrying the Curiosity rover vehicle to Mars, following the success of its predecessors Spirit and Opportunity.

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