I frequently see the Moon in SpaceX videos, "I suspect" the frequency is higher than random, but can't prove it (yet!)

I found the SpaceX video Falling Back to Earth | HD Footage From Space (also below) in a deleted answer (trying to re-find it now), and recycled it in this answer.

I see at least five lights in the two screen shots around 00:53 in the video and I've annotated with numbers for discussion. I think I see the same ones a little later, and we can all probably agree about the Sun so I haven't given it a number.

"I suspect" that one of them is the Moon, any thoughts on which one it is, and what the others are?

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    $\begingroup$ "How many lights do you see?" "There are four lights!" $\endgroup$ – DrSheldon Sep 25 '18 at 16:47
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    $\begingroup$ Do we know which launch this is from? The YouTube video just says 'from a recent flight'. The video date - 5th June 2015 - would make CRS-6 or MonacoSAT likely. Edit: Except obviously the fairing makes it not CRS-6, duh! $\endgroup$ – Jack Sep 25 '18 at 17:35
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    $\begingroup$ @Jack so far I haven't been able to identify any points on Earth, just a lot of water, which doesn't help so much. There's mention in comments of a squiggle which someone has attributed to exhaust or condensation from the launch and ascent, but I don't see it. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Sep 25 '18 at 18:32
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    $\begingroup$ "That's no moon..." No 1 looks more like exhaust from the upper stage $\endgroup$ – OON Sep 28 '18 at 12:03
  • $\begingroup$ @Jack This 2015 post suggests that they found the fairing half with the GoPro on a beach in Bermuda. Later, once they sent the camera back to SpaceX they believe that this video is the contents of the camera they found. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Oct 18 '18 at 14:11

The most likely candidate for the launch is the one made 27 April 2015 at 23:03 UTC. To get rough understanding of the sky seen from the fairing I used Heavens Above to produce the following sky chart setting location a bit further down east from the Florida with 80 km altitude. The result was,

Sky for 27 April 2015

If you have any doubts about the Moon phase it was,

Moon phase for 27 April 2015

Now there should be a lot of debree and exhaust, it's rather hard to determine exact positions on the sky and rotation is quite disorienting. Still I propose the following hypothesis:

  1. is the second stage and its exhaust
  2. is the Moon
  3. is Jupiter
  4. is the first stage with deactivated engines. Its exhaust is not visible because of the sun.
  5. is Venus

I have most doubts about 1 and 4. 2, 3 and 5 line up rather well.

  • $\begingroup$ Ha-ha. I was dumb at first confusing the east and the west)))) Now I'm pretty sure that 1 is the second stage as I first thought $\endgroup$ – OON Sep 28 '18 at 14:13
  • $\begingroup$ The far end of the fairing should be about 3.6 meters inner diameter where it connects to the F9 2nd stage. At 13 meters away, that's about 16 degrees, which is a little less than what the distance between the Moon (2) and Jupiter (3) should be estimating from the star chart. So everything seems to check out quite nicely! Have a look. If you can add scale to the answer I'd say it's a slam-dunk. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Sep 30 '18 at 6:14

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