Wasn't Expecting This!

@moffittjc (47473)
Gainesville, Florida
December 20, 2016 7:21am CST
Sometimes you get lucky! I happened to be on the beach this past Sunday visiting with some friends, when we got an unexpected surprise. I wish I would have had my phone ready to capture the entire launch on video, but I wasn't quick-thinking enough. The photo was taken on the beach just south of Daytona Beach, looking south toward Cape Canaveral. I haven't had time to research what the cargo was on this launch, or who launched it (NASA or the Air Force). I'll have to look into it when I get a chance. It was pretty cool because the launch caught everyone by surprise, and then it was funny to see that some people were actually frightened when a few seconds after viewing the launch the sound/shock waves made their way to us. I actually overheard one tourist in a panic scream that we were having an earthquake! Yes, lady, thank you for your concern, but Florida doesn't get earthquakes. You are just feeling the vibrations from the rocket launch! haha
27 people like this
29 responses
@LadyDuck (188808)
• Switzerland
20 Dec 16
You know that it's not true that Florida doesn't get earthquakes, they are rare, but you had one the last July 16th of this year, 3.7-magnitude epicenter 104 miles east-northeast of Daytona Beach, The tourist knew more than you do.
6 people like this
@moffittjc (47473)
• Gainesville, Florida
22 Dec 16
They were able to prove shortly thereafter that it was not an earthquake off the coast of Daytona Beach, but instead a 10,000-pound bomb that the Navy exploded underwater to test the strength of their newest submarine design. The last know earthquake that I am aware of was probably about 10 years ago, when there was a tremor that could be felt in Tampa and locations slightly inland. It was suspected that the tremor was caused by a gigantic mudslide on the ocean floor in the Gulf of Mexico.
5 people like this
@LadyDuck (188808)
• Switzerland
22 Dec 16
@moffittjc We also are in a safe zone here, but this year we have felt a tremor when Italy has suffered the big earthquake during the month of August.
2 people like this
@moffittjc (47473)
• Gainesville, Florida
22 Dec 16
@LadyDuck I've always wondered, since the earth's tectonic plates are always moving and shifting, isn't it possible that new fault lines can appear just about anywhere?
2 people like this
• United States
20 Dec 16
Florida might not get earthquakes, but a tourist might not know that! I didn't think TN had them either, but found out I am living on a fault.
5 people like this
@JolietJake (51067)
• United States
20 Dec 16
Believe me, if Illinois gets 'em, you will too
4 people like this
• United States
20 Dec 16
@JolietJake They recently found out the fault line is much bigger than they originally thought.
4 people like this
@JolietJake (51067)
• United States
20 Dec 16
@AbbyGreenhill We got hit by a 5.4 off the Wabash Fault back in 2008, shook things up a bit
4 people like this
@simone10 (21646)
• Louisville, Kentucky
21 Dec 16
How cool to be so close to see a rocket launch! I imagine the noise was quite loud. How funny that someone thought there was an earthquake in Florida.
4 people like this
• Midland, Michigan
21 Dec 16
I'm from Michigan and although I've traveled some of the states and lived in various ones, I don't know which ones are predisposed to earthquakes other than California. I could have said the same thing had I been there. I was surprised to be awakened one night to find out we were having one in Ohio. At first I thought a freight train was traveling through the dorm. Quite unsettling.
4 people like this
@moffittjc (47473)
• Gainesville, Florida
21 Dec 16
We actually couldn't hear it as much as feel it. I guess if there was an auditory sound associated with the launch, it was more of a rumble similar to what you would hear with thunder. But we sure could feel it when the shock wave reached us!
3 people like this
@moffittjc (47473)
• Gainesville, Florida
21 Dec 16
@MarshaMusselman I don't think there's any state that is technically immune to having earthquakes. Even Florida has one or two recorded earthquakes in its history, but most of those were the shock waves felt from more powerful earthquakes in other places.
3 people like this
@fishtiger58 (30317)
• Momence, Illinois
20 Dec 16
you had to post this didn't you lol. Making me jealous again. Very cool shot.
4 people like this
@moffittjc (47473)
• Gainesville, Florida
22 Dec 16
I think I need a break from all these rocket launches! I never realized they sent up so many rockets back to back to back to back like that! I guess the space industry is really booming right now.
3 people like this
@fishtiger58 (30317)
• Momence, Illinois
22 Dec 16
@moffittjc I would also love to hear it, The big booms during fireworks have always been my fav.
3 people like this
@moffittjc (47473)
• Gainesville, Florida
23 Dec 16
@fishtiger58 I love the booms of fireworks as well! Unfortunately, my daughter had very sensitive hearing when she was little, and the sound of the fireworks was too much for her delicate little ears, so we always had to watch fireworks from a very far distance. We tried ear plugs, which helped her a little, but it still bothered her. Thankfully, she's grown out of it now and she can tolerate being right under the fireworks explosions, since I love being as close as possible to the fireworks!
1 person likes this
@pgntwo (22752)
• Alanya, Turkey
21 Dec 16
An earthquake? I'd've thought it was the part of a nuclear offensive...
4 people like this
@moffittjc (47473)
• Gainesville, Florida
21 Dec 16
The lady that made the earthquake comment was laying in a chair facing away from the rocket launch, so she didn't realize a rocket had just taken off. I'm pretty sure if she had been facing the other way she would have been able to put two and two together to realize where the shaking was coming from.
4 people like this
@DianneN (92081)
• United States
20 Dec 16
Fabulous photo!!!!! Lol! Silly woman! How exciting to be so close to rocket launches and to hear those booms. And ah, the Atlantic Ocean and beach. Perhaps we should have lunch near the launch pads??????
3 people like this
@moffittjc (47473)
• Gainesville, Florida
22 Dec 16
if you are ever in the right place at the right time in Lake Worth, you should be able to catch a glimpse of a rocket launch. In fact, when the shuttle Challenger blew up in 1986, I was sitting in the courtyard of my high school watching the launch in the sky. We immediately knew something was wrong when the smoke/vapor trail split off into two vapor trails, something that doesn't usually happen on a launch. We ran back inside to a classroom and told the teacher to turn on the tv, and then that's when we knew for sure the disaster happened. It was so surreal.
3 people like this
@DianneN (92081)
• United States
22 Dec 16
@moffittjc I am amazed you got to see that with your own eyes! I was in my car at the bank when I heard it on the radio. It happened on Jan. 28th. My son's birthday.
2 people like this
@DianneN (92081)
• United States
22 Dec 16
@moffittjc That reminds me of 9/11. Both tragic days.
1 person likes this
@vandana7 (69050)
• India
20 Dec 16
Before reading Cape Canaveral, I thought it was some natural phenomenon...hmm..you would never find me near the sea...I am terrified of sharks...and more so after @DaddyEvil uploaded a link showing several sharks near the beach hunting and even beaching...nightmare..
3 people like this
@moffittjc (47473)
• Gainesville, Florida
22 Dec 16
I grew up on the beach, so the sight of sharks has never really bothered me. It was just part of everyday life on the beach and in the ocean. Most of the sharks we see around the coastal areas of Florida are some of the smaller varieties that don't mess with humans too much, but we still get our share of shark attacks. It's mostly surfers, and the sharks confuse them with fish due to the shape of the surfboards.
4 people like this
@vandana7 (69050)
• India
22 Dec 16
@moffittjc ... You have actually seen sharks on the beach... I am never NEVER EVER coming to the US...
3 people like this
@DaddyEvil (26321)
• Aurora, Missouri
22 Dec 16
@vandana7 vanny, where did you think I met my friends at? I found them walking around on the beach after eating a human being... (They keep telling me to invite you to come to America again! I really think they are hungry! Uhm... would you like to come visit America, vanny? )
2 people like this
• Lenox, Georgia
20 Dec 16
That is really neat! Awesome photo. =)
3 people like this
@moffittjc (47473)
• Gainesville, Florida
22 Dec 16
Thanks Jennifer! Hey, do you ever get to visit the beaches around Jax, or even Mayport Navy base, to see all the Navy ships come into port? I used to love it when the big aircraft carriers would come into port. It is quite a sight to see!
2 people like this
• Lenox, Georgia
22 Dec 16
@moffittjc We have not had the chance to do that. We just got our vehicle back on the road so there's a lot we want to do still! =)
2 people like this
@moffittjc (47473)
• Gainesville, Florida
22 Dec 16
@LovingMyBabies I'm glad to hear you finally got your vehicle situation resolved! I'm sure it will make life much easier for you and the family!
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (141837)
• Bunbury, Australia
20 Dec 16
Hey, that's some photo even if you weren't prepared. :)
2 people like this
@moffittjc (47473)
• Gainesville, Florida
22 Dec 16
I actually snapped a bunch of pictures, but that was one of the very few that didn't come out blurry.
2 people like this
@JudyEv (141837)
• Bunbury, Australia
22 Dec 16
@moffittjc I am always trying to photograph the little birds that come in for a bath but mostly they are very blurred too.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (47473)
• Gainesville, Florida
22 Dec 16
@JudyEv It's not easy even when you are prepared for it, and it's even harder when it's something unexpected, like I encountered with the rocket launch.
1 person likes this
@DaddyEvil (26321)
• Aurora, Missouri
22 Dec 16
That's funny, Jeff.... I didn't think there was anything scheduled to be launched on the 20th of this month... I just checked the Rocket Launches and Scheduled Events for Cape Canaveral and don't find anything scheduled for that day, either? (It is entirely possible that I am misreading something, too. IDK if I am or not. I would appreciate confirmation on that, please. Thank you!) Uhm... Jeff? Who told you Florida doesn't have earthquakes? I can assure you Florida has earthquakes! LOL! I will agree that Florida doesn't have many and the few it does have are normally very small, but it does have them. (It actually had a small earthquake this past summer. On July 16th, 2016 there was a 3.7 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Florida. Not enough to cause damage, but enough to be picked up by the scientific instruments on the mainland.)
2 people like this
@moffittjc (47473)
• Gainesville, Florida
22 Dec 16
DE, the photo was taken on Sunday, December 18th. I wonder if it was a top-secret Air Force rocket? I am aware that Florida does occasionally get an earthquake or two. The one you are referencing on July 16th was later confirmed to be a Navy explosion. Apparently, they detonated a 10,000-pound bomb underwater to test out the shock resistance of their submarines. I also believe about 10 years ago there was a small earthquake that was mainly felt in the Tampa area, and scientists speculated that it may have been due to an underwater landslide in the Gulf of Mexico, or a shifting of the ocean floor as a result of oil drilling. I've also heard that in south Florida, they can occasionally feel the shaking from earthquakes in Cuba and the Caribbean, although I grew up in south Florida my whole life and I never felt anything.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (47473)
• Gainesville, Florida
22 Dec 16
Hey, just checked it out. The United Launch Alliance launched an Atlas V rocket on December 18th that was carrying a satellite that will help bring high speed internet to more people. Pretty cool. The Atlas V and the Delta V rockets are my two favorite rockets!
1 person likes this
• Midland, Michigan
21 Dec 16
And they'd probably announced this was taking place in the papers somewhere, I'd think? Ohio rarely gets earthquakes yet one happened when I was living there some years back. That was a shocker too. At least she wasn't screaming that you were being hit by terrorists. That may be even harder to live down. Does the launch produce enough noise prior to lift-off that you could have gotten it on video? I'd think they only way you could have gotten it was if you knew beforehand that it would happen?
2 people like this
@moffittjc (47473)
• Gainesville, Florida
22 Dec 16
No. You really can't get close enough to the launch sites to hear any of the sound before or during the liftoff. They keep people far enough away so that it takes several seconds to a minute for sound to reach you. And because light travels faster than sound, you typically will see the rocket going up before you ever hear any of the sound. Where I at was really too far away to hear any of the sound anyway, we more or less just got the shock wave as it rolled through.
2 people like this
@PainsOnSlate (20852)
• Canada
25 Dec 16
That is almost too cool for words. I would love to witness that, Glad you were there to get a photo!
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (47473)
• Gainesville, Florida
28 Dec 16
Sometimes I find myself in the right place at the right time. Not often, but sometimes! Lol
1 person likes this
• Canada
28 Dec 16
@moffittjc I've only seen it on TV,
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (47473)
• Gainesville, Florida
3 Jan 17
@PainsOnSlate Well, at least when you see a launch on TV, they can zoom in close to give you a great view of the launch. That is the only problem with watching it live, you can't get close enough to see the great views that you get on TV. But it's still worth experiencing at least once in your life if you can1
1 person likes this
@DianneN (92081)
• United States
23 Dec 16
Merry Merry Christmas to you and your family, Jeff!
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (47473)
• Gainesville, Florida
23 Dec 16
Thank you so much Dianne! And Happy Chanukah to you! If I remember correctly, it starts tomorrow, right?
1 person likes this
@DianneN (92081)
• United States
23 Dec 16
@moffittjc Yes, thank you!
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (47473)
• Gainesville, Florida
24 Dec 16
@DianneN What do you do to celebrate the holiday, or what do you do to start off the first day?
1 person likes this
@MarymargII (10842)
• Toronto, Ontario
22 Dec 16
Great candid shot of a launch- it could be a secret mission! ha!
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (47473)
• Gainesville, Florida
22 Dec 16
That's what I was wondering. I hadn't heard anything about a launch, and DE said he couldn't find any information about a scheduled launch.
1 person likes this
@MarymargII (10842)
• Toronto, Ontario
23 Dec 16
@moffittjc Well you have been lucky to catch so many lately- maybe there's something going on we don't know about?
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (47473)
• Gainesville, Florida
28 Dec 16
@MarymargII I think this is just a good time of year to launch, since the weather is beautiful and there aren't a whole lot of thunderstorms to cause launch delays.
• Eugene, Oregon
20 Dec 16
What an interesting surprise that was! Good pic too. Funny about the earthquake thing. I had no clue that you could feel the launch.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (47473)
• Gainesville, Florida
22 Dec 16
There's really two things you feel, depending on how close to the launch site you are. The first is the rumbling from the launch itself. If you are close enough, you feel the ground shaking from the powerful rocket boosters as they power up to full thrust on the launch pad. Being that Florida is mostly sand, the vibration from those thrusters travels pretty far through ground. The second part is the shock wave. It's more or less a sonic boom, but on the ground.
2 people like this
• Eugene, Oregon
22 Dec 16
@moffittjc That must be quite a sensation.
2 people like this
@Happy2BeMe (75440)
• Canada
20 Dec 16
Oh wow Jeff that is very cool. You were lucky to be able to capture it.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (47473)
• Gainesville, Florida
22 Dec 16
Thanks! It was the first time I've ever captured a launch on photo!
1 person likes this
@Happy2BeMe (75440)
• Canada
25 Dec 16
@moffittjc that is amazing
@BelleStarr (40244)
• United States
30 Dec 16
That is so cool!! I was thinking that maybe we would drive to Cape Canaveral this year.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (47473)
• Gainesville, Florida
30 Dec 16
You should! It's such a fun experience, even if there's no scheduled rocket launches!
1 person likes this
• Greece
28 Dec 16
I know that there at earthquakes in England but I only ever experienced one. It was very light but it made the windows rattle. I did not even realise what it was but my husband did, having lived in Greece as a child and experienced tremors. No one believed him when he said there had been an earthquake, but it was on the news the next day.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (47473)
• Gainesville, Florida
28 Dec 16
I'm glad it was only a small one that you experienced!
@garymarsh6 (14765)
• United Kingdom
24 Dec 16
OH my what luck. I would love to have been there to see that!
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (47473)
• Gainesville, Florida
28 Dec 16
Seeing the rocket launch was the icing on the cake to a perfect day at the beach!
1 person likes this
@Traceyjayne (1173)
• United Kingdom
22 Dec 16
wow, we do not have anything like that here in England. A great surprise for you indeed. Shame the lady went into panic mode ....
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (47473)
• Gainesville, Florida
22 Dec 16
She only was in a panic for a few seconds until someone told her to turn around and look into the sky!