Not a UFO! Amazing videos show rocket launch lighting up N.J. sky
The much delayed Black Brant XII rocket finally launched on Sunday night from NASA’s Wallops facility in Virginia. And it was visible over New Jersey.
Many people were able to capture video and photos of the vapor trail from the rocket about 10 minutes after the launch, which had been scrubbed seven times since May 7 due to rain, cloud cover and wind.
New Jersey 101.5 Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow said launch conditions needed to be near perfect in order to be successful.
"A 'normal' rocket would almost certainly have been able to successfully launch on one of these attempts. However, since this spacecraft is specifically performing an experiment releasing 'vapor tracers' into the upper atmosphere, the conditions have to be just right," Zarrow said. "That means wind speeds high up in the atmosphere must be light enough, and cloud cover downrange must be minimal."
The delay was worth the wait as barium vapor formed two green-violet spherical clouds that lasted about 30 seconds. After exposure to sunlight, the vapor clouds quickly ionize and take on a violet color.