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    NASA rocket launches into Alaskan northern lights

    A sounding rocket launched in Fairbanks, Alaska, on Nov. 8, 2023, launched into a night sky beautifully filled by a bright green dancing aurora. 

    Footage recorded by PhD student and aurora enthusiast Vincent Ledvina captured the bright flash and glow of the rocket launch. 

    “That’s so cool!” another exclaims.

    RELATED: NASA’s ad-free, no-cost streaming service has launched – what to know

    According to NASA, the sounding rocket’s experiment successfully captured data “to understand how auroras heat the atmosphere and cause high-altitude winds.”

    “It was an exciting but nerve-racking experience,” Mehdi Benna told the Geophysical Institute of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. “The countdown had to be precisely timed to target the peak of the auroral activities, which lasted less than 30 minutes from its growth to recovery phase.”

    The experiment will help scientists better understand the winds in Earth’s upper atmosphere near the edge of space, which have an effect on space weather

    Improved space weather forecasting has become increasingly important to operators of satellites, communication and navigation systems, and power grids, all of which can be damaged or disrupted by space weather, the Geophysical Institute further reported


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