Last evening a relative of mine showed me a photo she took of what she believed was a rocket launch (Note we both know nothing about rockets and such). In the photo the flying "object" is not visible, merely the contrail left behind by it.

Would a question where I post said picture and ask for clarification about whether it could be a rocket or not, and what the characteristics are that concluded to this answer be on topic here? I have an estimate for the time and location, but no exact values.

I'm rather unsure if it would be on topic or not, as i'm not sure if it is a rocket or has to do with space at all, but it might fit the tag.

(I haven't added the picture here so not to derail this question to discussing its contents, but can post it if necessary for determining if it would be on topic)

(I asked if it was on topic on meta aviation as well, who suggested this might be a better fit)


There is an tag for just this sort of thing and it's quite active and well-written questions are generally well-received.

Your question should contain basic information about the photo including at least the approximate location, time and date and any other details you have.

I see that you do have estimated time and location so this sounds promising.

You should avoid questions of the form "Is this a UFO? a photograph of an alien spaceship?" or sounding like a conspiracy theorist "Are space launches fake?"

See for example Identify this rocket and launch site from Gilligan's Island episode? but in your case I think you only have a shot of the trail in the sky. There are many questions here on exhaust plumes in photos, so I think this could be a good fit.

Go for it!

Examples of plume-in-the-sky questions here

and in Photography SE:

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    $\begingroup$ Thank you for this information! Due to it being more likely to be a plane I decided to give it a shot over at Aviation first, where they indeed managed to identify it as a plane aviation.stackexchange.com/questions/77079/… Looking at the plume-in-the-sky questions was very interesting and does also show a remarkable difference! $\endgroup$
    – Remy
    Apr 13 '20 at 8:48
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    $\begingroup$ @Remy Oh that's excellent! I see they've been quite helpful in Aviation SE.. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Apr 13 '20 at 11:01
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    $\begingroup$ Could be a weather balloon. Or swamp gas. $\endgroup$
    – DrSheldon
    Apr 13 '20 at 13:52
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    $\begingroup$ @DrSheldon that's what that nice person in the suit said after they showed me their neurolizer thingy. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Apr 13 '20 at 13:59
  • $\begingroup$ "You should avoid questions of the form "Is this a UFO?"..." If it's in the sky and you don't know what it is, it is by definition a UFO. $\endgroup$
    – Vikki
    Jun 4 '20 at 20:48
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    $\begingroup$ @Sean I know what you mean and I've made similar comments in the past. How does the edit look? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Jun 4 '20 at 22:21
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh: Looks good. $\endgroup$
    – Vikki
    Jun 4 '20 at 23:19

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