#Mysterious bright lights appeared over #Norway on Saturday, leaving #AuroraHunters baffled and sparking speculation of potential #UFO activity.
The cause of the unusual colored clouds, though, was much closer to home.
The unusual light show was actually part of a #NASA funded #AZURE (Auroral Zone Upwelling Rocket Experiment) experiment to learn about the flow of particles in the ionosphere and to find out more about the contribution that an aurora makes to the amount of energy leaving and entering Earth’s geospace system. The #ionosphere is the layer of the Earth’s atmosphere ionized by solar and cosmic #radiation, located about 75-1000 km above our planet.
The AZURE mission successfully launched back-to-back aboard two sounding rockets in Norway tonight. These colorful clouds created a light show in the sky, helping researchers track the flow of neutral and charged particles in Earth’s ionosphere. Details: XaAp7FJDPgk. pic.twitter.com/vCZ3wFzzBo
— NASA Wallops (@NASA_Wallops) April 5, 2019
Two rockets were launched from the the Andøya Space Center in northern Norway. They measured the temperature and atmospheric density and deployed tracers including trimethylaluminum and a barium and strontium mixture, which ionizes when exposed to sunlight.
“These mixtures create colorful clouds that allow researchers to track the flow of neutral and charged particles, respectively,” NASA explained last year, adding that its tracers would “pose no hazard to residents in the region.”
The clouds were then tracked to measure the winds and flow of particles as the glowing spots dispersed. NASA is planning another seven #rocketlaunches in Norway over the next two years, so more #alien panic could be expected.
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