NASA Rocket to Create Clouds
2009-09-15 0:00

By Clara Moskowitz | Space.com

A rocket experiment set to launch Tuesday aims to create artificial clouds at the outermost layers of Earth's atmosphere.

The project, called the Charged Aerosol Release Experiment (CARE), plans to trigger cloud formation around the rocket's exhaust particles. The clouds are intended to simulate naturally-occurring phenomena called noctilucent clouds, which are the highest clouds in the atmosphere.


This image shows one of the first ground sightings of noctilucent clouds in the 2007 season over Budapest, Hungary on June 15, 2007. Credit: Veres Viktor

"This is really essentially at the boundary of space," said Wayne Scales, a scientist at Virginia Tech who will use computer models to study the physics of the artificial dust cloud as it's released. "Nothing like this has been done before and that's why everybody's really excited about it."

The experiment is the first attempt to create artificial noctilucent clouds. A previous spacecraft, called Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM), launched in 2007 to observe the natural clouds from space.

CARE is slated to launch Tuesday between 7:30 and 7:57 p.m. EDT (2330 and 2357 GMT) from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

Noctilucent means "night shining" in Latin. Although difficult to spot with the naked eye, the clouds are best visible when Earth's surface is in darkness and sunlight from below the horizon illuminates the high-altitude clouds.


Noctilucent clouds over northern Europe. Credit: Pekka Parvianien.

These clouds, also known as polar mesospheric clouds, are made of ice crystals. The natural ones tend to hover around 50 to 55 miles (80 to 90 km) above the Earth. CARE will release its dust particles a bit higher than that, then let them settle back down to a lower altitude.

"What the CARE experiment hopes to do is to create an artificial dust layer," Scales told SPACE.com. "Hopefully it's a creation in a controlled sense, which will allow scientists to study different aspects of it, the turbulence generated on the inside, the distribution of dust particles and such."

CARE is a project of the Naval Research Laboratory and the Department of Defense Space Test Program. The spacecraft will launch aboard a NASA four-stage Black Brant XII suborbital sounding rocket.

Scientists will study its progress from ground based instruments as well as the STP/NRL STPSat-1 spacecraft in Earth orbit. Researchers will track the CARE dust cloud for days or even months to study its behavior and development over time.

Because the optical observations are crucial, the launch can only take place if the weather is clear both at the launch site and at multiple observation stations along the Atlantic coast and in Bermuda.

If CARE cannot launch Tuesday, the team can try again between Sept. 16 and Sept. 20.


Noctilucent clouds over Mt. Sabalan, a 15,784 ft extinct volcano in northwestern Iran. Credit: Siamak Sabet

Article from: Space.com


Alfred Webre - Exopolitics, NASA Bombing of the Moon, Outer Space Treaty & E.T.

Red Ice Radio - Mike Bara - Dark Mission, The Occult NASA Moon Mission

Red Ice Creations Radio - Jerry E. Smith - Weather Warfare

Red Ice Creations Radio - Jerry E. Smith - The "Green" Conspiracy (Subscription)

Red Ice Creations Radio - Jerry E. Smith - Global Warming (Subscription)

Red Ice Radio - Sofia Smallstorm - Chemtrails, Nanotechnology & The Artificial Environment (Subscription)

Jim Marrs - Disappearing Bees & 9/11 Mystery Plane



Related Articles
NASA Readies Satellite to Scan Earth's Highest Clouds
Space Station Crew Photographs Mysterious Clouds that Shine at Night
Photo Gallery of Atmospheric Oddities
NASA Satellite Takes AIM at Earth's Highest Clouds
Charged Aerosol Release Experiment (CARE): Plasma Physics Division, Naval Research Laboratory (PDF)
Connection Found Between Earth and Space Weather
It’s Not Your Imagination…
Earth’s Weakening Magnetic Field Contributes to Extreme Weather
Super Duper Doppler Weatherman is Here, Says NASA Press Release
Was Katrina A 'Man-Made Storm' For Profits?
Active Sun Throws NASA Predictions Off
NASA moon bombing violates space law & may cause conflict with lunar ET/UFO civilizations
Outer Space Treaty


Latest News from our Front Page

Estonia must accept African & Middle Eastern immigrants says politician
2015-05-22 3:06
Kalle Laanet, an Estonian politician, spoke at the International Migration Forum held in Tallinn. He told the audience that the question is not: Should Estonia take the African and the Middle Eastern immigrants (who illegally entered Southern Europe)? He said the question is: How will Estonia take the immigrants? “Today the issue is not whether Estonia should receive the refugees coming to ...
Rescuing Palmyra: History's lesson in how to save artefacts
2015-05-21 22:49
With Islamic State militants now inside the historic town of Palmyra in Syria, the question, inevitably, is whether they will destroy the ancient ruins. As IS continues to sweep through parts of Iraq and Syria, damage to centuries-old artefacts - because IS sees statues and shrines as idolatrous - is plentiful. But history has shown that, when culturally important sites are under ...
Saudi Arabia Wants to Convert Sweden to Islam
2015-05-21 20:38
Aje Carlbom is an Associate Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Malmö Since the 1970s, Saudi Arabia has actively spread its interpretation of Islam, Wahhabism or Salafism, worldwide. It is the most literal version of Islam and affects many young Muslims, who regard society as a place to Islamize, writes social anthropologist Aje Carlbom. Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wallström was ...
Professor: If You Read To Your Kids, You're 'Unfairly Disadvantaging' Others
2015-05-21 18:22
Bedtime-story privilege? According to a professor at the University of Warwick in England, parents who read to their kids should be thinking about how they're "unfairly disadvantaging other people's children" by doing so. In an interview with ABC Radio last week, philosopher and professor Adam Swift said that since "bedtime stories activities . . . do indeed foster and produce . . ...
If You Read About Conspiracies You're Just Like Osama Bin Laden Apparently
2015-05-21 3:46
At its heart, the story of Osama bin Laden's time at his house in Abbottabad is surreal. The American image of bin Laden - leering at us from under his head wrap as he plots and schemes - is undermined by the mundane realities of his life. The guy was responsible for murdering thousands of Americans and orchestrating a global ...
More News »