Most people have to travel to Florida to catch a rocket launch, but this Friday (May 7) you'll be able to see one from your own backyard.

NASA is launching a "Black Brant XII sounding rocket" this Friday night, but this launch will happen from their Virginia facility, making it possible for folks all along the east coast to have a chance to see it, provided the weather cooperates.

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According to Boston's, if we're lucky enough to be able to see this launch, it should be visible in the southeast sky, but the window is kind of short, between 30 to 60 seconds. The launch is scheduled for 7:58 PM Friday night. As of now the National Weather Service is calling for a sunny day on Friday with clouds late, so that might be perfect for catching this rare opportunity to see a NASA launch. If the weather in Virginia is not good, as of now they are looking for cloud cover with showers and thunderstorms possible, the launch would be postponed. However, their launch window runs through May 16th.

According to, the rocket is set to release a vapor trail that will happen around 9 minutes and 30 seconds to 10 minutes after launch, that vapor trail should make it possible for you to see where the rocket is at that time.

Here's a map of where the launch will be visible and the amount of time each region will have to see the rocket trail.

NASA Image
NASA Image

The launch itself will help NASA study things like how momentum and energy is transported between different regions in space when it comes to connecting magnetically. In other words, it will help scientists have a greater understanding of Auroras, how they form, and how they move in space.

So hopefully the weather cooperates and we'll get a shot to be able to see this launch. Just remember, the window is small and obviously if the launch is delayed, that window shifts as well.

KEEP READING: Get answers to 51 of the most frequently asked weather questions...

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