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Rocket Trail imaged by James Young from JPL Table Mountain Observatory, California . ©James Young, shown with permission.

The exhaust trail, seen after sunset, is from a Vandenberg rocket.  Winds wound, twisted and contorted the trail.

Its upper part, "The Dove", shines brightly as millions of tiny particles or droplets scatter high altitude sunlight. Lower parts glow in ever deeping red, lit by sunset rays dimmed and reddened by passage through the lower atmosphere.

Rocket trail particles often produce intense iridescent colours. The fainter banded colours seen here appear to originate from the droplets in intervening lower cloud lit from above by the bright trail.