Science: Sixty-Mile Flare

On the night of March 14 the sky over Holloman Air Force Base, N. Mex. was vacuum-clear with stars thick beyond it. At 1145 a.m. a slender Aerobee rocket rose from a launching tower, the bright flame of its exhaust dwindling to a spark and disappearing among the crowding stars. Then, when the rocket was 60 miles up, a new star bloomed in the sky, brighter than the planet Venus. Swiftly it grew, spreading in ten minutes to four times the diameter of the moon, and shedding half the full moon's brilliance. At this stage the glowing spot was three...