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This May 4, 2019 SpaceX tweet says

More photos from Falcon 9’s 40th successful launch from Pad 40 in Florida and 39th first stage rocket booster landing to date → http://flickr.com/spacex

and shows two images, including the one below. The image is also shown and discussed in flickr.

Just what is happening here and what does this photo show? What exactly causes those relatively pure red and blue regions of this plume?

They remind me of aurora colors.

Click for full size, it's beautiful and something is going on around the engines...

SpaceX tweeted image "from Falcon 9’s 40th successful launch from Pad 40 in Florida and 39th first stage rocket booster landing"

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    $\begingroup$ Wow! That's a pretty cool looking effect. It looks like the exhaust itself is either glowing or being illuminated by something. $\endgroup$ – Ranga Rutiser Sundar May 16 at 15:28
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Falcon 9 uses oxygen and kerosene for its rocket propulsion, which can give off a variety of gases; so it is reasonable to look at some plasma colors produced by different gases in a discaharge lamp (from Wikipedia). In the case of hydrogen we get this:

enter image description here

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hydrogen_discharge_tube.jpg

We may thus be seeing colors from hydrogen plasma, glowing behind the rocket.

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