At 8:15 p.m. Tuesday night, post 45 minute delay, a Minotaur rocket code-named ORS-3 lifted off from NASA’s space-launch facility on Wallops Island, Va.  It carried aboard 29 satellites – including

– more than any prior rocket.

..Images may be selected for larger sizes..

Much of the viewing region across the northeastern United States was bathed under mostly clear skies, with just some thin high cloudiness around here and there. Seasonably cold temperatures and a bit of a breeze helped set the mood.

As with our last journey to photograph a launch in September, research beforehand paid off in that we had a few options. We ended up going with our “secondary target” due to tree complications at the first. Seeing the result, it’s hard to tell why we considered it a lesser view initially!

Our photos ended up very similar, as to be expected given we were standing right next to each other. Some slight differences on settings are noted in the captions. Our shots, as with a number below, are “stacked.” This process brings out the light from the trail from many frames. In this case, because the Capitol is much too bright to do a several minute timed exposure.

We’ve also selected a handful of stellar regional highlights from our Flickr pool, and via photos shared with us through social media. It was especially awesome to see the happy responses on Facebook and Twitter.

Yeah science!

Video: NASA rocket streaks through eastern sky