NASA has lastly launched a tiny sounding rocket that created wonderful multicolored clouds in the night sky. The event took place on the coast of Virginia in U.S. The lively show was not a coincidence but the agenda of the day. The event has been postponed several times in the month with the NASA scientists blaming the cloudy skies that obstruct the views. The rocket, known as the Terrier-Improved Malemute, was set to release canisters in the sky that are filled with colorful vapors to create the brilliant clouds to study the aurora and the atmosphere.
The event has taken quite long time to be fruitful. The rocket released canisters in the air outlining green and red false clouds that filled the air along the East Coast of the United States. Scientists assured the residents that the chemicals used by the rocket are not toxic to the human health.
The vapors are just gases made of lithium, barium, and tri-methyl aluminum that generate the visible clouds high up in the sky. The chemicals are commonly used in the fireworks mission though according to the space agency, the percentage is too small compared to the volumes of gases used in the fireworks.
NASA has been installing the vapor tracers using rockets for their space missions and currently, the scientists at the agency are testing a new approach of shooting the vapor tracers further into the upper atmosphere. The new method, known as the multi-canister ampoule ejection system, will help the researchers to cover a larger area of the sky than before.
The sounding rocket took off from the NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility located in Virginia. The flight lasted for about eight minutes and reached an altitude of 118 miles. Ten canisters containing vapor tracers were discharged forming large colorful clouds.
The artificial clouds enable the scientists to monitor the movement of particles at extremely high altitudes. The findings help in better understanding of the Earth’s ionosphere. The ionized gases found in the high altitudes which expand out into space are directly influenced by the Earth’s magnetic radiation. Use of rocket mission is the best way to study these elements.