Rocket launch that could be visible over NJ tries again Tuesday night
Could the fifth time be the charm?
It's another attempt for the launch of the Black Brant XII rocket from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.
Postponed every night since Friday because of concern about upper level wind, NASA said it will give it another try on Tuesday night at 8 p.m. New Jersey 101.5 Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow is optimistic the launch really could happen.
"Tuesday evening's launch window probably presents the best weather conditions so far at Wallops Island. I see mainly clear skies with lighter winds (both at the surface and aloft)," Zarrow said.
Our chances of seeing the launch in New Jersey might be a challenge though.
"A batch of showers and isolated thunderstorms with associated cloud cover is expected from late afternoon through late evening. If the atmosphere ends up too dry for widespread showers, you'll have a chance to see the rocket launch," Zarrow said. "If the showers and clouds clear out on or ahead of schedule, you'll also have an opportunity. But, just as I've said for the previous attempts, viewing conditions won't be perfect here."
What rocket is being launched?
A four-stage Black Brant XII rocket is scheduled to be launched at 8:04 p.m., just after sunset, with a launch window of 40 minutes. The launch was originally scheduled for Friday but was scrubbed on Saturday and again on Sunday due to weather.
Where can I see the rocket?
It could be visible over much of the eastern United States.
What you'll see will be the release of barium vapor 9 or 10 minutes into the launch forming two green-violet clouds that may be visible for about 10 seconds in far South Jersey, 10-30 seconds in Central Jersey and 30-60 second north of Route 80.
Rocket emissions cause weird colors
Immediately after the vapor is released, spherical clouds will form which are a mixture of green and violet and last about 30 seconds. After exposure to sunlight the vapor clouds quickly ionize and take on a violet color.
The barium vapor is not harmful to the environment or public health.
Livestream video of rocket launch
Live coverage of the mission will be available on the Wallops IBM video site (beginning at 7:40 p.m.