Science Course with Ryan Morse: How do fireworks get their color?

Beyond The Forecast

(WFRV) – Fireworks will be back in a big way this weekend for the Fourth of July! Many are mesmerized by the different colors of these firework shows, including here in Northeast Wisconsin.

How do these fireworks get their vibrant colors?

Chemistry is the cause for the brilliant colors in the fireworks. Varying types of metal salts produce different colors when they are burned. Metal salts are not table salts, the term ‘salt’ is when metal is combined with nonmetal atoms.

Pictured above are a bunch of different firework colors matched with a few of the metal salts they use to make this color.

Strontium gives you red, calcium makes orange, sodium gives yellow, barium is green, copper helps make both blue and purple, and magnesium helps make white and silver.

These types of metal salts are put into a very small container. After a few seconds as the shell is launched, the fuse allows the core of the firework to ignite and explode with the metal salts.

Follow the latest forecast for the Fourth of July on-air, and our our app:

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