“Colorful Clouds” Possible Offshore of New Jersey Wednesday
The forecast from Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow for Wednesday says we can expect "sunny, dry, and mild" weather. There is also now a chance of seeing "colorful clouds."
Before you think the "colorful clouds" have anything to do with how one may perceive the atmosphere now that marijuana is becoming legal in New Jersey, not so much. This is all thanks to NASA.
According to NASA, "a three-stage suborbital sounding rocket is scheduled for launch the afternoon of March 3, 2021, for the Department of Defense from NASA’s launch range at the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia."
The purpose of the rocket is to study ionization in space just beyond the reaches of earth’s atmosphere.
How do they do that? Glad you asked. Here's where the "colorful clouds" come into play.
After flying to an altitude of several hundred miles and about 500 miles off-shore, the rocket’s payload will release a small quantity of vapor – an amount equivalent to about two BBQ grill propane tanks - into the near-vacuum of space. There is no danger to public health or the Earth’s environment from the vapor release.
After the vapor release, colorful clouds may be visible over the ocean to residents in the mid-Atlantic and southeastern United States as the Sun illuminates the vapor before it diffuses harmlessly into space.
Now that NASA states that they will be releasing vapor into the near-vacuum of space, cue the conspiracy theorists because they say, "The launch will not be shown live on the Internet nor will launch status updates be provided during the countdown on social media. The NASA Visitor Center at Wallops will not be open for viewing the launch." And, according to a Facebook post, they won't be announcing the exact launch time, either.
Top secret stuff!
Well, maybe not "top" secret since they're telling us about the launch and if you're in the area, you'll be able to see a rocket screaming up into the sky.
If you do see "colorful clouds" tomorrow, we'd love to see them -- you can easily send us a picture through our app!