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Colorful clouds to dot East Coast skies after NASA rocket launch on Tuesday


Update: The launch was originally scheduled for Monday evening, however, it has been postponed until Tuesday evening.

Red, blue and green clouds will dot skies across the East Coast on Tuesday evening following a NASA rocket launch in Virginia.

Between 9:04 and 9:19 p.m. EDT, a sounding rocket will take off from the Wallops Flight Facility releasing colorful vapor clouds roughly 100 miles above the earth.

Known as “vapor tracers”, the harmless clouds are formed by an interaction between barium, strontium and cupric-oxide.

Cast out between six and 12 miles, the clouds will help NASA scientists on the ground to track particle motions in space.

If the weather-dependent launch goes ahead, sky gazers living from New York to North Carolina will be able to spot the colorful clouds.

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The experiment has been scrubbed six times previously, four of which were a result of weather conditions including winds and clouds.

This time, however, meteorologists say the forecast shows no sign of hindering the launch.

“The area of high pressure responsible for the heat wave in the eastern U.S. will also promote clear skies through next week, which will bode well for the NASA launch,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Faith Eherts said.

The NASA Visitor Center at Wallops will open at 8 p.m. on launch day for viewing the flight.

Those who live farther afield can get launch updates from the Wallops facility on Facebook and Twitter.