Storm Team 11: How fireworks get their vibrant colors


JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Every year on the Fourth of July, the country lights up with bright and colorful fireworks in the sky.

How do these fireworks get their colors? The answer is chemistry!

There are two main ways fireworks get their colors: incandescence and luminescence. Incandescence is light produced by heat. Luminescence is light produced by using energy sources other than heat. 

To get a pure color firework, metal salts are used. 

To get red strontium carbonate is used, for green it is barium chloride, calcium chloride creates orange, sodium nitrate produces yellow, and copper chloride results in blue fireworks!

These metal salts are packed into a firework and are called “stars”. 

Once you light a firework, an explosive black powder inside will propel the firework into the sky up to 1000 feet. Inside the interior of the firework shell, the fuse burns slowly. After about 5 seconds, the firework explodes and ignites the stars. (EarthSky) 

The result is a beautiful and colorful light show in the sky! 

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