February 24, 2024

Ben Davidson (of spaceweathernews.com and Youtube’s SuspiciousObservers channel) says tonight’s launch is important because the plasma experiment it will conduct in the atmosphere will offer “a literal preview of field collapse scenario” similar to what we’ll see shortly before the next pole shift.

As NASA’s article explains: “A mission to explore energy transport in space using a NASA suborbital sounding rocket launching May 8, 2021, [currently May 14] from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia may provide a brief light show for residents of the eastern United States and Bermuda.

The mission is scheduled for no earlier than 8:02 p.m. EDT with a 40-minute launch window, Saturday, May 8. [Currently rescheduled for no earlier than just after 8PM EST Friday May 14] Backup launch days run through May 16. The launch may be visible, weather permitting, in much of the eastern United States from the Atlantic coast to the Mississippi River.

A four-stage Black Brant XII rocket will be used for the mission that includes the release of barium vapor that will form two green-violet clouds that may be visible for about 30 seconds. The barium vapor is not harmful to the environment or public health.

The mission, called the KiNETic-scale energy and momentum transport eXperiment, or KiNet-X, is designed to study a very fundamental problem in space plasmas, namely, how are energy and momentum transported between different regions of space that are magnetically connected?  

The vapor will be released approximately 9 minutes and 30 seconds to around 10 minutes after launch [8:14PM EST?] at about 217-249 miles altitude over the Atlantic Ocean and 540-560 miles downrange from Wallops and just north of Bermuda.

Immediately after release of the vapor, the spherical clouds are a mixture of green and violet, but that phase only lasts about 30 seconds when the un-ionized component of the cloud has diffused away. After exposure to sunlight the vapor clouds quickly ionize and take on a violet color. 

The ionized portion of the cloud becomes tied to the magnetic field lines and diffuses parallel to the field lines but not perpendicular to it.  In the mid-Atlantic region latitudes, the field lines are inclined by about 45 degrees to the horizontal, so the violet clouds stretch out in a slanted orientation and look more like short trails than a cloud.  Because the motion of the neutral portion of the clouds is not constrained by the magnetic field lines, they spread out more quickly and become too thin to see with the naked eye much sooner than the ionized component.”

Maybe we will briefly see plasma discharges similar to what our ancient ancestors saw over 12,000 years ago, when a similar combination of terrestrial magnetic field decay, solar activity, and an incoming wave front of the galaxy’s neutral magnetic sheet combined to trigger the last catastrophic pole shift.

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