‘It Was Really Cool': Rocket’s Vapor Trail Seen Over Seacoast
The much delayed Black Brant XII rocket finally launched on Sunday night from NASA’s Wallops facility in Virginia and it was visible over the Seacoast.
The vapor trail from the rocket was seen in the sky about 10 minutes after the launch, which had been scrubbed seven times since May 7 due to rain, cloud cover and wind.
The delay was worth the wait as barium vapor formed two green-violet spherical clouds that lasted about 30 seconds. After exposure to sunlight, the vapor clouds quickly ionize and take on a violet color.
Shawn St. Hilare and his son were looking for the rocket in the parking lot of the Garrison Players Arts Center parking lot in Rollinsford and nearly gave up.
"We were watching and they tell you it's in the southeastern sky. We're looking in the southeast and there's a cloud deck real low. I gave it time for when you're supposed to be able to see it. We weren't seeing it and I'd actually given up," St. Hilare told Seacoast Current.
He began to pull away when his 24-year-old son spotted something in the sky across the street over Baer Road.
"There it is! It's right there. I jumped out of the car and that's when we saw the flares. It kind of looked like fireworks, those white lines that burst in the sky then fade away. There were two of them," St. Hilare said. "It was really cool."
St.Hilare said it was not the first time he's gone to look for a special display in the sky which ended in disappointment and wasn't sure how this was going to end.
"They said you wouldn't need a telescope and you'd be able to see it. And they were right," St. Hilare said.