The clouds will light up America’s mid-Atlantic coast and can be viewed on a livestream
NASA will launch a sounding rocket tonight to explore the ionosphere and how particles interact in space. The picture-perfect by-product? You may be able to see blue-green and red clouds in the sky, if you live anywhere on the eastern seaboard of North America.
From New York as far south as North Carolina, the “glowing clouds” may be visible, if all goes according to plan. Previous attempts were scrapped due to high winds or boats in the launch area. The sounding rocket, once airborne, will release 10 soda-can sized canisters that will issue small amounts of barium, strontium, and cupric oxide into the atmosphere. These chemicals are responsible for giving fireworks their distinctive colours. “These clouds, or vapor tracers, allow scientists on the ground to visually track particle motions in space,” reads a statement.
If you don’t live in the US and still want to see the clouds, NASA has set up a livestream, which you can watch here. The launch is scheduled for a window between 9:04 to 9:19 pm EDT.