People living in North Carolina to New York waked up to see the beautiful blend of colors in their skies today morning as NASA tested its new deployment system on a sounding rocket. The Wallops Flight Facility originally planned to launch a two-stage Terrier-Improved Malemute sounding rocket early Wednesday but weather pushed the launch window to today between 4:26 to 4:41 a.m.
Stunning clouds of blue, green, and red lit up the skies from New York to North Carolina in the early hours of Saturday morning, Thanks to NASA for the unusual dreamy colorful view.
During the test, the ten soda-can-sized canisters were released in the cloud that led to forming vapor roughly 100 miles above the surface just before 5 a.m. (EDT). The artificial clouds glowed with brilliant colors as the vapor interacts with elements in the atmosphere, allowing scientists to track the movement of particles.
The clouds, also called vapor tracers, were released at 96 to 124 miles above the surface, and that posed no risks to people down below, the space agency says.As barium, strontium, and cupric oxide interacts with the atmosphere, the vapor creates clouds of blue-green and red.
‘The canisters were deployed between 4 and 5.5 minutes after launch blue-green and red vapor forming artificial clouds,’ according to NASA.
‘These clouds or vapor tracers allowed scientist on the ground to visually track particle motions in space.The development of the multi-canister or ampule ejection system allows scientists to gather information over a much larger area than previously allowed when deploying the vapor just from the main payload.’
The launch was postponed to today’s morning. This morning, however, the researchers found skies were cloudy at both of the ground camera stations. So, the test was once again rescheduled, this time for Saturday, June 3, with a 4:26-4:41 a.m. launch window.
The mission lasted roughly for 8 minutes in all, with the payload landing in the Atlantic Ocean about 90 miles off Wallops Island.
"The early morning skies along the Mid-Atlantic coast will light up with luminescent clouds as NASA tests a new system that supports science studies of the ionosphere, and Aurora with a sounding rocket launch," NASA said before the launch.
The observation of artificial clouds dates back decades. Franklin Institute chief astronomer Derrick Pitts said that "This is not new, NASA has been doing this for a long, long, long time.”