NASA is launching a rocket tonight that is going to give a good part of the U.S. East Coast a spectacular light show. This brief, but bright show of colorful lights is expected to be created from the rocket’s vapor trail. According to Fox News on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013, the rocket is set for lift off at 5:30 p.m. E.T. and while it will be a sight to see, it will be a brief “artificial night sky display.”
It is expected that the light show will be so unusual that people who are unaware of this rocket launch might get an urge to call the local authorities to report such a visual display. The lights will be caused by an experiment aboard the rocket that will release a chemical tracer as part of the rocket’s mission. The chemical that the rocket releases will cause two bright red-colored lithium vapor trails in space that “may be seen by observers across the mid-Atlantic region, and possibly from even further away,” according to Fox News.
The rocket will be launched from NASA’s Wallops Island Flight Facility on the Atlantic coast of Virginia. The rocket could be launched as early as 5: 30 p.m. E.T. Tuesday and it will soar high above the earth, but will not orbit the planet.
According to NASA, tonight’s rocket will be launched to test new technology and gather data for future NASA projects.
If you are more prone to watching things on the computer rather than gazing into the night sky in anticipation, you can watch the rocket launch live on SPACE.com here. The webcast will begin at 4:30 p.m. E.T. today.