JCSAT-14 Falcon 9 by SpaceX
This image is a composite of 81 images shot in a series starting when the media was escorted to the ITL Causeway, just after 12:30am on Friday, May 6, 2016. The skies were very clear, and the stars (as you can see) were very visible.
Each of the images was a 30 second exposure and they run right up to just before the launch by SpaceX of their Falcon9 rocket carrying the JCSAT-14 communications satellite at just after 1:20am. The launch itself is captured by a 166 second exposure that is (obviously) the streak. The streak is overexposed, but you can still see in the stack the outline of the rocket on the pad, along with one of the clouds from the surprisingly loud off-gassing that happened a few times before the launch.
I’m always interested in seeing what the other photographers got for shots and for this launch, Ben Cooper has a similar image, but only similar in concept: his is perfectly exposed and is (as always) a really lovely image.
SpaceX would later report that they had successfully landed the first stage on the drone ship positioned downrange in the Atlantic Ocean.