<p>A long-exposure image captures the brilliant light of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket as it launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California just after sunset on October 7. The image also shows the rocket's booster as it came back to Earth near the launch pad, marking the first time a SpaceX booster has returned to land on the West Coast.</p>

A long-exposure image captures the brilliant light of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket as it launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California just after sunset on October 7. The image also shows the rocket's booster as it came back to Earth near the launch pad, marking the first time a SpaceX booster has returned to land on the West Coast.

Photograph by Glenn Beltz

October's best space pictures: spooky nebulae, troubled launch

Also see a spacecraft blast off for Mercury and a SpaceX rocket make history in our picks for the most stunning space pictures of the month.

Feed your need for heavenly views of the universe with our picks of the most awe-inspiring space pictures from October 2018.

This month, astronauts have a near miss on their way to orbit, SpaceX pulls off an historic rocket landing, Europe and Japan team up on a mission to the solar system's innermost planet, and a telescope on Earth spies on a ghostly “skull and crossbones” in deep space.

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