NASA is gearing up to launch a rocket that will create colorful, luminescent clouds that will be visible to skywatchers along the mid-Atlantic coastline.
The so-called sounding rocket was scheduled to launch Monday night a little after 9 p.m. EDT from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on the Virginia shore. However, NASA decided at the last minute to postpone due to cloud cover at the observation sites and said it will try again to launch Tuesday night. Four previous launch attempts also had to be scrubbed for various reasons.
A few minutes after the rocket launch takes place, NASA will release ten soda-can-sized canisters containing blue-green and red vapor to form artificial clouds, the space agency explained on its website.
These colorful clouds will allow NASA to visually track particle motions in space. The rocket launch will support deeper studies of the ionosphere -- a zone of the Earth's outer atmosphere -- and aurora, NASA said.
The luminescent clouds should make for a dramatic spectacle for East Coast residents in an area stretching from New York City and parts of Long Island south to the middle of North Carolina.
Not in the visibility zone?
You can watch live streaming coverage on the Wallops Ustream site, and follow updates via its Facebook and Twitter accounts.