Photos of the Day: NASA Test Creates Artificial Aurora

Jun 30, 2017, 00:37
Photos of the Day: NASA Test Creates Artificial Aurora

NASA says those artificial clouds allow scientists on the ground to movement of particles in Earth's ionosphere, which is in its upper atmosphere.

After multiple failed attempts, NASA's Terrier-Improved Malemute sounding rocket lit up the sky with blue-green and red artificial clouds from North Carolina to NY early Thursday, June 29, 2017 morning.

The mission was completed at 4:25 a.m. from the Wallops location on Chincoteague Island, Virginia.

With the new launch time, live coverage now begins on the Wallops Ustream site at 4 a.m. and Facebook Live coverage begins at 4:15 a.m.

They will be deployed from canisters, each roughly the size of a soda can, at 96 to 124 miles above the surface.

A secondary objective, of course, was to wow Earthlings with the sort of pre-July 4th fireworks display only a space agency could pull off.

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The blue-green and red artificial clouds, deployed between four and six minutes after take-off, are used to track particle motions in space.

NASA's artificial clouds lit up the skies, as seen in this photo from Stone Harbor, New Jersey.

The mission has been delayed several times as a result of clouds, high winds, and other factors that could pose challenges to launch.

NASA hopes that scientists will be able to use this multi-canister or ampule ejection system to get data from a much larger area than was previously possible.

A Terrier-Improved Malemute two-stage sounding rocket lifted off from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia to release colorful clouds into the upper atmosphere June 29.

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