Latest in Science

Image credit: NASA

NASA rocket will form artificial clouds in space

The aurora science mission promises more than just the usual pyrotechnics.
1405 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

NASA

When you watch a rocket launch, it's usually to enjoy the show put on by the rocket itself. With one of NASA's next launches, however, you'll likely be more interested in what's left behind. When one of two Black Brant IX rockets blasts off for an aurora science mission between February 13th and March 3rd, it'll form artificial clouds in space, around 60 to 100 miles above the Earth. The vehicle will deploy a small amount of trimethyl aluminum that should react with the atmosphere and produce white puffs that will help scientists track auroral winds.

Before you ask: NASA says the aluminum creates "absolutely no hazard" to people below. You see more aluminum in a fireworks show, it adds.

Just when the launch takes place will depend on both aurora activity and clear skies, so you may only get short notice. Also, there's a good chance that you'll need to stay up late to watch the livestream when the rocket will take off from Alaska's Poker Flat Research Range between 11PM and 4AM Eastern once it gets the all-clear. If you feel that modern rocket launches are a bit stale, though, it might be worth a look.

Source: NASA
In this article: aurora, blackbrantix, cloud, nasa, rocket, science, space
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
1405 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

OnePlus will unveil the 7T on September 26th

OnePlus will unveil the 7T on September 26th

View
Vivo's NEX 3 is a bezel-less 5G phone with a 64-megapixel camera

Vivo's NEX 3 is a bezel-less 5G phone with a 64-megapixel camera

View
The Morning After: New York state moves to ban sale of flavored e-cigarettes

The Morning After: New York state moves to ban sale of flavored e-cigarettes

View
Photos of Huawei's Mate 30 range leak online

Photos of Huawei's Mate 30 range leak online

View
Motorola is making Android TVs too

Motorola is making Android TVs too

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr