"The surface of the Earth is the shore of the cosmic ocean... Recently, we've managed to wade a little way out, and the water seems inviting." - Carl Sagan
Rocket launches from Wallops Flight Facility
A NASA Black Brant XII suborbital rocket streaks into the night sky following its launch at 11:05 p.m. EDT on June 5, 2013 from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The rocket carried the Cosmic Infrared Background ExpeRiment (CIBER) to an altitude of approximately 358 miles above the Atlantic Ocean by the four-stage rocket. The launch, seen here with multiple stages firing off, was reportedly seen from as far away as central New Jersey, southeastern Pennsylvania and northeastern North Carolina. With CIBER, scientists are studying when the first stars and galaxies formed in the universe and how brightly they burned their nuclear fuel.
Image credit: NASA/Jamie Adkins