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May 3, 2021

CHANNEL 44 NEWS: USI Balloon Captures Eclipse Shadow From The Edge Of Space

first_imgUSI Balloon Captures Eclipse Shadow From The Edge Of SpaceAUGUST 22ST, 2017  ELI ROBERTS EVANSVILLE, INDIANA, KENTUCKY A team from the University of Southern Indiana’s Engineering Department joined in a special program coordinated by NASA nationwide. They launched a helium balloon 95,000 feet into the atmosphere, almost to the edge of space, all with a camera attached to get some of the most remarkable photos of the eclipse happening from above.“This is the first time to have a nationwide multiple view of an eclipse and shadow,” Glenn Kissel, an associate professor of engineering at the University of Southern Indiana, said.“I am getting our pods flight ready, be connecting all our new batteries, turning everything on,” Adam Lockhard, a student working on the project, said.“We’re at the edge of space,” Kissel said. “We kind of are in the midst of the stratosphere. We’ll be above 98% of the atmosphere at the highest point that this balloon flies.”The altitude is so high that you can see the shadow of the moon, sliding across the surface of the Earth.“The focus is that we’re going to try and videotape the shadow,” Colin Runnion, a student working on the project, explained, “not the sun and not the eclipse itself.”As the moment of total darkness arrived, it was hard to do anything other than focus on the eclipse as sudden black blanketed the area.“Honestly, I’m shaking a little bit now inside,” Runnion said. “It’s really cool. There’s a sunset around you, everywhere. The dusk to dawn lights are coming on . The cicadas are coming out.”“It’s 1:26PM.”Then, as quickly as darkness came, light returned, and so too did the focus on the balloon. This time working to chase it down, predicting where it would land, changing with the whims of the jet stream.“It was supposed to turn back and go this way but it hasn’t bent back yet,” Runnion said. “So we’re not really concerned, but interested in knowing why it didn’t turn back and come around.”FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

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