The Black Brant rocket being built (NASA)

Multi-colored clouds from a rocket launch in Virginia should be seen in the skies over New Jersey early on Wednesday evening.


NASA said its suborbital launch of the Canadian-designed Black Brant sounding rocket from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia will deploy four sub-payloads containing mixtures of barium and strontium that will create a blue-green and red cloud in color about 6 minutes after the launch scheduled for sometime between 7 and 9 p.m.

All systems are go for residents from Long Island to Morehead City, North Carolina and everyone in between to get a glimpse of the colorful evening launch as the rocket travels from east to southeast, as meteorologist Dan Zarrow expects clear skies for New Jersey.  According to the clouds can be be seen for as little as 2 minutes or as long as 20 minutes after its release.

The amount of barium and strontium is much less than in a fireworks display and poses no threat according to NASA.

The launch was originally scheduled for Tuesday but was postponed until Wednesday because of preparation time lost to the weekend's heavy rain and wind.