Solar Eclipse Stratospheric Ballooning

Ballooning teams at the U of MN – Twin Cities, St. Catherine University, and the U of MN – Morris prepared science payloads then flew them from near Grand Island, Nebraska, into the path of totality for the solar eclipse on August 21, 2017.  (Note:  Partial eclipse coverage in MN was over 80%.)  The U of MN – Twin Cities stratospheric ballooning team participated in a nationwide project involving over 50 teams from 30 states to live-stream video of the view from the stratosphere onto the internet for 2000 miles continuously, from Oregon to South Carolina.  St. Catherine University and the U of MN – Morris flew more-basic research payloads, studying how the passage of the moon’s shadow affected the temperature and pressure at various altitudes and, indirectly, the way in which cosmic rays interact with the atmosphere.  Results from these eclipse flights were exhibited at the 2017 MN State Fair.  At the end of October 2017 the U of MN – Twin Cities hosted a national post-eclipse stratospheric ballooning conference – AHAC 2017 – for ballooning teams from around the country to gather and share their results and talk about their experiences.

Related Links

Nasa Space Grant Eclipse Ballooning Project