PHILADELPHIA (CBS)–Look up! A NASA rocket launch is set to create an aurora-esque sight in the sky over the Delaware Valley Tuesday evening! This will be the fifth attempt to launch the Terrier-Improved Malemute sounding rocket, after a fourth scrub earlier this evening.
Colorful, luminescent clouds will appear in the sky in the minutes after take-off from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, scheduled for between 9:09 p.m. and 9:19 p.m. Tuesday.
The artificial aurora will form as a result of 10 canisters of vapor deployed from the rocket to help scientists study air motions in the ionosphere. Three chemicals will interact to form these color tracers; barium, strontium and cupric-oxide. None of these chemicals will hazardous to anyone along the coast.