A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Frank Reed
Date: 2020 Jan 8, 12:10 -0800
Monday night a Falcon 9 rocket launched from Florida. A photographer working for SpaceX captured this nice composite image. There are stars visible. Obviously the photo is a time-exposure of an extremely bright event. The camera would have been "stopped down" to capture the launch. But there are stars! We can determine at least two things from the stars in the image. First, we can determine when the camera was "opened up" to add the stars. That could be done before the launch... or after... but not at the actual time of launch. The stars tell the time. Second, we can determine the azimuth of the launch site from the observer's location, and then reverse that to navigate. Where was the photographer??
Various details in this article: https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/01/07/spacex-launches-more-starlink-satellites-tests-design-change-for-astronomers/, and a description of the launch site: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cape_Canaveral_Air_Force_Station_Space_Launch_Complex_40.