Northern New Jerseyans may get a glimpse of a rocket lift-off Friday night.
The nighttime blastoff will begin at approximately 11:27 p.m. as NASA launches its 90-foot-tall Minotaur V orbital rocket from its Wallops Flight Facility in eastern Virginia. The inaugural mission for the Minotaur V rocket is to orbit the moon for 100 days in order to measure lunar dust and examine the lunar atmosphere from about 50 kilometers above the surface of the moon, according to NASA's website.
The rocket, which will launch NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer, is expected to be highly visiblethroughout the eastern United States. The targeted launch window is between 11:27 to 11:31 p.m., according to NASA.
A photo on the NASA website of the rocket's trajectory after liftoff as seen from the observation deck of the Empire State Building (see photo gallery above) shows the rocket's path coming from the south beyond downtown Manhattan and being visible in the east beyond New York City.
A good area to see the launch may be Eagle Rock Reservation, which has a clear view of the city. If you have any suggestions on where best to see the launch, write them in the comment section below.
Essex County may also have a clear window to see the launch. Friday is expected to be mostly clear with a low of 52 degrees, according to weather.com.
The launch will be shown live on NASA TV beginning at 9:30 p.m. on Friday.
Backup launch dates are Saturday through Tuesday.