NASA's sounding rocket is all set to be launched tonight that will paint skies with red, blue and green colour clouds. The high-flying science experiment is being conducted to learn more about charged particles at the top of Earth's atmosphere.
A small rocket with 10 canisters of barium and other chemicals will lift from Wallops Island, Virginia between 9:04 and 9:19 p.m. EDT to spread man made colourful clouds in the sky.
Five minutes after the rocket launch, the canisters, which are about the size of soda cans, will release blue-green and red vapours that will gather into artificial clouds potentially visible from New York to North Carolina.
For Live streaming: www.ustream.tv/channel/nasa-tv-wallops
The luminescent colours are due to sunlight interacting with the chemicals barium, strontium and cupric-oxide, the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration said on its website.
The colourful clouds will stick to the skies for about 20 minutes depending upon the weather conditions.
NASA ground stations at Wallops Island and Duck, N.C., will track the clouds so scientists can learn more Earth's ionosphere, a layer at the top of the atmosphere of charged particles that shoot out into space, creating effects including auroral displays over the planet's polar regions.
Scientists want to learn more about how the ionosphere interacts with other layers of the atmosphere.