Explaining That Mysterious Pink Cloud From Last Night
[Cover photo credit to Dave Dietz]
Just after sunset yesterday, those living at the shore from South Jersey to Virginia were in for a big surprise. A strange pink cloud started to form and stay around for about forty-five minutes
Facebook started to get littered with photos of this mysterious cloud with one comment guessing that aliens were finally arriving.
We finally have some answers for you.
A rocket was launched from Wallops Island Flight Facility located in Virginia. This rocket, according to the press release, was “was to study ionization in space just outside the Earth’s atmosphere.”
This rocket launch was scheduled on their books but there wasn’t a time listed on when it would go up.
After flying to an altitude of several hundred miles and about 500 miles off-shore, the rocket’s payload released a small quantity of vapor into the near-vacuum of space.
This vapor, which released enough gas that would fill two grill propane tanks, left a visible condensation trail.
Due to it being at sunset, the Sun illuminated the vapor causing that pink glow effect.
After awhile the wind blew the vapor caused it to loose it’s trail and become more cloud like.
For those wondering, there is no danger to public health or the Earth’s environment from the vapor release.
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