A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Frank Reed
Date: 2020 Jan 11, 18:57 -0800
David, just noticed this. You asked:
"what’s the tower/rocket, which is also reflected in the water,just to the left of the Pad 40 Launch Point"
I'm not sure, but I have been assuming that this is the first stage re-entry burn. The color is right, and it's lined up rather nicely with the outbound arc of the rocket burn. You have seen video of Falcon 9 rockets coming in for landing, right? It's their best trick, and it's quite photogenic --never mind the economics! On this launch, since the payload was heavy, the first stage landed on a SpaceX "drone ship" (stabilized barge) a few hundred miles out in the Atlantic. To make the landing, the nearly empty rocket stage has to make a few burns. The first one is long, and I assume it's visible in the distance like this. The second stage would also have been still burning at that time, but well out of the atmosphere and therefore much fainter.