NASA’s newest experiment will be shooting colorful vapors in the night sky

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These “vapor tracers” will let researchers know how particles move in space, so what’s a better way of doing so than sending colorful lights into the sky? 

It wouldn’t be science without any kind of experiment to test out your theory and NASA is trying something pretty neat in the name of science. NASA will be sending some colorful vapors in the sky as an experiment to see how particles move in space and you just might be able to see it depending on where you live.

After the launch yesterday was postponed until today due to cloudy skies — the fourth time it’s been stopped for various reasons since the first trial back on May 31st, NASA is going to try again to launch “vaper tracers” into the sky. Hopefully, today will be better and NASA has two locations they can launch from. The weather in Virginia is looking good, whereas North Carolina could be cloudy again. Thankfully, only one location needs to be able to see the experiment.

These “vapor tracers” will let researchers know how particles move in space, so what’s a better way of doing so than sending colorful lights into the sky? Virginia’s Wallops Flight Facility will be sending a sounding rocket that will contain 10 canisters (size of a soda can) containing barium, cupric oxide, and strontium. About 5 minutes after launch, the soda can sized canisters will release what’s inside causing colorful red and blue-green artificial clouds in the night sky. The flight time is a total of 8 minutes, and the payload will and in the Atlantic Ocean about 90 miles from Wallop Island and the tracers will not be a hazard to any residents that reside along the mid-Atlantic coast.

Those as far as New York all the way down to North Carolina and westward to Charlottesville, Virginia will be able to see the experiment. There are ground cameras on the ground at Wallops Virginia and Duck North Carolina, and in order for this to work out, there will need to be clear skies at either of these locations.

Anyone on the east coast within the few mentioned states going to be looking up at the night sky to see these colorful vapor tracers? I’m going to try, but NASA doesn’t specify if the entire states will be able to see it. Living in North Carolina I should be able to, but I’ll just have to wait and see. Let us know if you’re planning on tuning in in the comments below or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.

  Via: NASA
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