The space agency has just pulled off an incredible feat that resulted in a spectacular show in the sky.
NASA has done some pretty incredible things over the years, and a stunt they just pulled this week is certainly up there. NASA launched a rocket that created some huge, colorful clouds that will probe two large holes in the Earth’s magnetic shield that are called cusps, which could lead to breakthroughs in our understanding of this phenomenon.
NASA Wallops Flight Facility released amazing photos of the colorful vapor puffs, and they released video which is embedded below. NASA had been waiting for just the right moment to launch the clouds, which were colors of red and bluish green. They were finally able to do so on June 29 when the rocket was launched at 4:25 a.m. from the Wallops Flights Facility in Virginia.
The 10 canisters that made the clouds were each about the size of a soda can. They produced “tracer vapors” that were visible from North Carolina all the way up to New York, and they allow scientists to track where particles move in space.
“July 4 fireworks came early when a NASA Terrier-Improved Malemute sounding rocket was successfully launched at 4:25 a.m., Thursday, June 29, from the agency’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia,” NASA said in a statement. “During the 8-minute flight, 10 canisters about the size of a soft drink can were ejected in space, 6 to 12 miles away from the 670-pound main payload. The canisters deployed blue-green and red vapor that formed artificial clouds visible from New York to North Carolina. During an ionosphere or aurora science mission, these clouds, or vapor tracers, allow scientists on the ground to visually track particle motions in space.”