posted on Nov, 21 2004 @ 09:08 AM
"In the first set of colorful ones sure looks like the trail of a sounding rocket or a weather rocket, Some sounding rockets are made to leave a
chemical trail to explore high altitude wind profiles..... high altitude plume condensation can form ice crystals and refract light into colors. IT
kind of reminds me of the sounding rocket launches that were launched from Wallops Island, VA that I would see in Delaware as a kid..... Very
So you're saying that you talked to someone who said that persistent contrails reminded him of the plumes of sounding rockets, because the ice
crystals can refract light into colors and some sounding rockets have chemicals in them that are used to explore wind profiles at high altitudes.
Well, no argument there. Sounding rockets can and do refract light, and often do it dramatically, since the exhaust is often 70 or 80 miles high and
can be illuminated by the sun below the horizon when the skies are still completely dark.
Aircraft contrails, which are ice crystals, can and do refract light, just like cirrus clouds, which are also ice crystals, refract light. But
rainbows refract light and so do the scales on insects, and they're not tied in with the presence of chemicals.