How far do fireworks fly

Hello new year! This is how New Year's rockets work

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Many people are looking forward to welcoming the New Year with New Year's Eve rockets long before New Year's Eve. But how do they actually work?

From: Mischa Drautz

Status: December 31, 2019

A New Year's rocket consists of three important parts - but only one of them can be seen clearly from the outside: This is the one Fusewho have favourited the fuse at the bottom of the missile. This fuse is lit with a match. While it burns down in a few seconds, get away from the missile quickly.

No thrust without fuel

If the fuse has burned down, it ignites Fuel mixture - the second important part of a New Year's rocket. The fuel mixture consists of black powder. It's an explosive that creates a lot of gas. Since the rocket is closed at the top, the gas is pushed out downwards. That gives the missile a boost. The rocket is, so to speak, pushed away from the ground and therefore flies in the opposite direction: it rises vertically into the sky.

The rocket flies up until the black powder is used up. Then it comes to the beautiful rain of colored sparks. That's because of the third important part in a New Year's Eve rocket: the gray, pea-sized globulesstored in the upper part of the rocket.

When these get hot, they spray Spark in the air. The color of these depends on the substance with which the beads were mixed in the rocket. For red, for example, you have to add the chemical strontium nitrate. Everyone knows the substance that leads to yellow sparks: table salt.

Everyone can check at home that this is really the case: If you put some table salt on a metal spoon and hold it in a very hot flame, the flame will burn yellow. (Ask an adult for help if you want to try this out! You should never open a finished New Year's rocket.)