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A NASA astronaut captured a gorgeously surreal image of a rocket launch

NASA/Christina H. Koch
A squiggle then a bloom.
By Johnny Simon
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

It’s not uncommon for astronauts aboard the International Space Station to witness a rocket hurtling from Earth to the stars. But a recent image taken by an American astronaut may be the most beautiful one we’ve ever seen.

NASA astronaut Christina Koch tweeted an image yesterday (Sept. 25) that she captured of a Soyuz capsule, which took off from Kazakhstan carrying astronauts from the US, Russia and the first one from the United Arab Emirates. The American passenger aboard Soyuz 61 was Jessica Meir, who trained with Koch, reported.

The abstract and surreal image shows a glowing bloom of the Soyuz’s second stage while the exhaust from the initial rocket launch trails behind in a snaking squiggle, just above the curvature of the Earth’s horizon. Its stunning contrast of light and dark make it look almost like a sparse, abstract Dalí canvas.

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