Jun 02, 2017 I Brett Tingley

NASA is Releasing Colorful Artificial Clouds in the Atmosphere

On June 1st, NASA will conduct tests which will see them creating artificial clouds in the sky off the Eastern U.S. seaboard. To conduct the tests, NASA will launch sounding rockets from the Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia's eastern shore. Compared to their larger space-faring counterparts, sounding rockets are smaller, lower-powered rockets designed for sub-orbital flights and used most often in scientific experiments.

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A NASA scientist inspecting the cloud-creating rocket.

The NASA sounding rocket in this test will deploy ten pressurized gas canisters which will explode in the atmosphere, releasing the luminous blue and red clouds. The bright colors will allow scientists on the ground to better track and analyze the clouds as they form and disperse across the sky.

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Residents of some coastal areas will witness red and blue-green clouds in the early morning of June 1st.

NASA’s official explanation for the clouds is that they are merely part of a test of new ionospheric monitoring techniques and technology:

The canisters will deploy between 4 and 5.5 minutes after launch blue-green and red vapor forming artificial clouds. These clouds, or vapor tracers, allow scientists on the ground to visually track particle motions in space. The vapor tracers are formed through the interaction of barium, strontium and cupric-oxide. The tracers will be released at altitudes 96 to 124 miles high and pose absolutely no hazard to residents along the mid-Atlantic coast.

Barium, strontium and cupric-oxide, eh? Sounds delicious, how do I breathe it in? Naturally, some sources have jumped at the chance to declare this as proof of climate manipulation or the ol' chemtrails and the like. NASA, however, assures that the chemical-laced clouds pose no risk and that they’ve been conducting similar tests for decades. Most likely, it’s just a simple science experiment; after all, it's pretty out in the open and you can even live-stream the launch on the mission website.

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The best viewing areas are close to Delaware and Virginia.

With HAARP reportedly recently resuming experiments, though, you never can tell what’s really going on up above our heads. It’s probably fine, though. Keep watching the new season of House of Cards. Nothing to see here.


Brett Tingley

Brett Tingley is a writer and musician living in the ancient Appalachian mountains.

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