NASA Creates Artificial Clouds Over the Eastern US

by Dominic Parks June 30, 2017, 0:37
NASA Creates Artificial Clouds Over the Eastern US

NASA says it got 2,000 reports of cloud sightings, but don't take the agency's word for it.

Early Thursday morning, the Terrier-Improved Malemute rocket launched from Wallops Island, Virginia, with a payload of colorful chemicals.

People from all over the region were able to enjoy the sight and NASA's Wallops Flight Facility has been posting astonishing shots of the launch and the clouds submitted by fans on its Facebook page.

"The vapour tracers are formed through the interaction of barium, strontium and cupric-oxide", Nasa said ahead of the launch.

The space agency has not stood still while waiting for this mission to get underway.

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A secondary goal, of course, was to wow Earthlings with the sort of pre-July 4th fireworks display only a space agency could pull off.

The mission deployed ten soda-can-sized canisters, each containing cloud-forming vapour, roughly 100 miles above the surface just before 5 a.m. (EDT).

The aim of the launch was to visually track particle motions in space, particularly in the ionosphere (the layer of Earth's atmosphere that is ionised), with help from these colourful clouds known as vapour tracers.

Upon launch of the rocket, the vapors will form luminescent, blue-green and red, artificial clouds that may be seen from NY to North Carolina. Reasons for canceling the launch have included high winds, thunderstorms, cloud cover, and boats in the hazard area. The Terrier-Improved Malemute sounding rocket was finally a success after 11 recent unsuccessful attempts.


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