You may be able to see NASA’s research rocket launch today

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A four-stage Black Brant XII-sounding rocket.
A four-stage Black Brant XII-sounding rocket. NASA

Tonight, NASA will launch a scientist rocket from the Wallops air plant in Virginia, and people in the eastern United States and Bermuda can see the rocket on its rise if they look at the sky at the right time.

The Black Brant XII sound rocket will launch on Sunday night at 8 p.m. ET and release two clouds of barium vapor to follow the magnetic field lines around our planet as part of the KiNet-X mission or KiNETic-scale energy and momentum in traffic eXperiment. KiNet-X looks at how energy flows between space areas, such as aurorat which arise when particles from space interact with the magnetic fields in our atmosphere.

How to watch a rocket launch

The launch of the Black Brant XII could be seen across the United States and Bermuda depending on the visibility due to the weather. NASA has produced an image showing when the rocket may be visible after it was launched on Sunday night at 8:03 PM ET It may even be possible to see steam coming out of the rocket, which occurs between 9 and a half minutes and 10 minutes after launch.

“The four-phase Black Brant XII rocket will be used for a mission involving the release of barium vapor, forming two green-purple clouds that may be visible for about 30 seconds,” NASA writes, and also assures the public that “Barium vapor is not harmful to the environment or public health . “

This map shows when a rocket may be visible after launch from NASA's Wallops Airport.  Two clouds of steam will form north of Bermuda about 9 minutes and 30 seconds after launch as part of the operation, and may also be visible from the eastern United States and Bermuda.
This map shows when a rocket may be visible after launch from NASA’s Wallops Airport. Two clouds of steam form north of Bermuda about 9 minutes and 30 seconds after launch as part of the operation, and may also be visible from the eastern United States and Bermuda. NASA / Christian Billie

If you live in the rest of the world or if the weather is cloudy tonight, you can still follow the task by watching it online.

NASA is streaming the launch Wallops website, which shows coverage launch starting at 7:40 p.m. ET today, Sunday, May 9th.

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