Rocket launch from Vandenberg AFB
March 15th, 2002

A modified Minuteman II hurled a simulated nuclear warhead, along with several decoy balloons, toward Kwajalein Atoll, in the south Pacific. This is in support of the National Missile Defense program.

Because the launch took place shortly after sunset, it resulted in a nicely backlit exhaust trail, followed by some glowing rainbow effects as ice crystals form on the exhaust.

Thanks to SoCal Sky Lights! for the information.