28 Mar '12, 2am

Wow, talk about fireworks! Check out these pics of the multiple rocket launch from @NASA_Wallops yesterday.

Wow, talk about fireworks! Check out these pics of the multiple rocket launch from @NASA_Wallops yesterday.

Five sounding rockets streaked into the pre-dawn sky on March 27, 2012, leaving trails of milky white clouds in a little understood part of the atmosphere. The first rocket was launched to the cusp of space at 4:58 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, and the subsequent launches occurred at 80 second intervals. The goal of the Anomalous Transport Rocket Experiment (ATREX) was to improve understanding of the process that drives fast-moving winds high in the thermosphere. Fiery trails from four of the five sounding rockets are clearly visible in this time-lapse photograph (top) of the launch. The second image shows two of the clouds left in the wake of the experiment; the rockets released trimethyl aluminum, a substance that burns spontaneously in the presence of oxygen. The harmless by-products of this glowing reaction were visible to the naked eye as far south as Wilmington, North ...

Full article: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=77526

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