The fact that a missile can be launched from a ship to successfully intercept an incoming ballistic missile is amazing in and of itself. But when you launch it at night, creating a little taste of hell on Earth for a few seconds, it's pretty damn cool.
This is a Standard Missile-3 Block 1B interceptor launched from the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Erie as part of the Missile Defense Agency test in the Pacific Ocean. It successfully destroyed its target, which had been launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, on Kauai, Hawaii, some minutes earlier. [Flickr]