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The mission is aimed at understanding the ultra-fast jet stream winds that can reach speeds of up to 300 mph (483 kph). The chemical tracers (trimethyl aluminum) released allowed scientists to track those winds..
NASA launched a barrage of small rockets early Tuesday (March 27), with five rockets blasting off within five minutes to create glowing clouds at the edge of space that wowed skywatchers all along the U.S. East Coast.
Astrophotographer Jeff Berkes snapped this amazing view from outside Philadelphia, Pa., of the glowing clouds at the edge of space created by NASA's ATREX mission, which launched five rockets to deploy a chemical that created the clouds for a jet stream study on March 27, 2012.
CREDIT: Jeff Berkes
Skywatcher and photographer Jack Fusco snapped this photo of the glowing clouds created by NASA's five-rocket ATREX launch from Seaside Park, N.J. (north of the rockets' Virginia launch site) on March 27, 2012.
CREDIT: Jack Fusco
The chemical release of five ATREX sounding rockets created a series of glowing clouds in the high-altitude jet stream at the edge of space on March 27, 2012. Here is NASA's view from the Wallops Flight Facility at Wallops Island, Va.
Originally posted by Disclosure Agent
ok.... so is anyone else making connections with geo-engineering here ???
spraying chemical tracers (trimethyl aluminum) into the atmosphere to test high altitude winds.... come on please.... surely there are much safer ways of doing this than spraying aluminum in the atmosphere.... maybe this is a ramping up of the program for some unknown reason....
Loops of wispy clouds rise like smoke rings against a background of stars—the products of a NASA rocket launch early Tuesday morning designed to study the upper-level jet stream.
The chemical reacts with water and oxygen in the atmosphere to create milky white clouds, which could be seen easily by scientists and the public this morning in clear skies along the U.S. Northeast coast, according to NASA. Two of the rockets also carried instruments for measuring atmospheric temperature and pressure.
Rocket plumes and chemical tracers glow like fireworks during the ATREX launch Tuesday morning.
For the experiment, NASA had cameras snapping from coastal facilities at Wallops, in New Jersey, and in North Carolina.
The launches and the rocket-created clouds were also reportedly seen as far south as Wilmington, North Carolina; west to Charlestown, West Virginia; and as far north as Buffalo, New York, NASA says.
One of the ATREX clouds, as seen by a NASA camera. Each cloud lasted for about 20 minutes, giving mission scientists time to track the rocket-made clouds and measure how quickly they moved away from each other.
Researchers will now use the collected data to model the kind of turbulence that exists in the upper jet stream. (Related: "Airline Passengers, Relax: Turbulence Detectors Are on the Way.")
Three-dimensional turbulence, for instance, is similar to what's seen swirling in rivers and gusting in surface winds. This kind of mixing would mean that Earth's high-level winds are governed by laws of motion similar to those that create small-scale waves in water, NASA says.