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See NASA light up the morning sky with colorful fake clouds

After a long wait, the space agency launches a rocket filled with vapor tracers that could potentially be seen from hundreds of miles away.

Early risers on the East Coast of the United States were treated to some colorful sky art Thursday morning courtesy of a NASA mission to study auroras and our ionosphere by releasing vapor tracers in the upper atmosphere. 

A NASA Terrier-Improved Malemute sounding rocket shot into the sky at 4:25 a.m. ET from the space agency's Wallops Flight Facility off the coast of Virginia. It flew to an altitude of about 118 miles (190 kilometers), according to a statement, and let loose 10 soda-can-sized canisters that then deployed the blue-green and red vapors, creating the artificial clouds captured in the video above.

The sight was visible from New York to North Carolina, and plenty of civilians shared photos of the sight on social media Thursday morning:

The light show lets scientists on the ground track the movement of particle motions in space, kind of like being able to throw dye in the wind and actually see it blow.

Thursday's launch had been delayed for several weeks over the course of multiple planned launch dates that kept getting pushed back due to weather conditions. Now that it's finally happened, it seems it was worth the wait for anxious skywatchers who have already submitted thousands of photos and reports of the sight to NASA.