Visiting friends in the Northern Tablelands of NSW. I went outside and observed a clear diffuse blob to the north of Scorpio. At first I thought, comet, however binoculars revealed a characteristic rocket plume shape. The diffuse blob dispersed over the following hour.
I pulled out the camera and tripod, took two sets of shots, one wide area, one more zoomed in on the plume. About 10 images of 15 seconds each, F4.5. I then stacked each set, and average/fused the individual images (using Hugin, on OSX) to produce two images with more subtle detail. This was necessary to capture the plume location with respect to background stars, with just a mid range semi DSLR Camera. There had already been some drift from first sighting of more than a degree.
I have then combined the two photos, the close up within the wide view, so as to provide a location image of the plume as seen from this location. The plume moved and dispersed with respect to the background stars over the time it took to take the two series of photographs as indicated in the final composite photo. (Note purple oval and arrow in photo.)
Total sequential image taking took about half an hour. Processing about 3 hours. Another half hour to put this post together.
The observation location is in the Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) +10 hours to UTC time zone, and I began taking photos close to midnight (within an hour) on 28 July, moving into the early hours of Fri 29 July. The observational ground location was 151˚ 39' East, and 30˚ 01 Min South.
Anyone able to identify what rocket launch or other event this might be?