A typical NWS “weather balloon” sounding can last in excess of two hours. In that time, the radiosonde can ascend to an altitude exceeding 35 km (about 115,000 feet) and drift more than 300 km (about 180 miles) from the release point.
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These data are obtained from radiosondes, which are instrument packages tethered to balloons that are launched from the ground, ascend through the troposphere into the stratosphere, and transmit back to a receiving station on the ground.
Weather balloons don’t have any flashing lights, but they are up to 20 feet in diameter and highly reflective. And they move relative to the stars, as you say you observed. Not surprisingly, these things often trigger UFO reports to police, airports, and military bases.
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Weather balloons have no on-board illumination, but in twilight they can be in sunlight while it is dark down below and the sky is darkening. In these circumstances they will stand out as a bright object that may be slowly moving with respect to the stellar background.
Most high altitude weather balloon flights that are performed by amateurs will feature onboard cameras to capture the breathtaking views from a place that most humans can never get to themselves.
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The radiosonde is powered by a small battery. A parachute, attached to the end of the balloon, allows the radiosonde to fall slowly to the ground at speeds less than 22 mph after the balloon bursts.
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Can weather balloons be dangerous? Weather balloons are safe when used properly. A weather balloon project needs to be thought out and prepared carefully. Remember, you are launching something into space, so it is important to take safety precautions.
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Satellite Tracker ” This is by far the best option for tracking your weather balloon payload. Satellite trackers are designed to be both rugged and reliable. Unlike cellphone and APRS trackers, satellite trackers rely on a network of satellites in orbit to receive their position signal.
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Though outer space doesn’t technically begin until you get 62 miles (100 km) above Earth’s surface, the views are still great from 24 miles up.
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A helium-filled balloon can float very high up into the atmosphere, however, it cannot float up into outer space. The air in Earth’s atmosphere gets thinner the higher up you go.
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The entire weight of the payload, excluding the balloon, cannot exceed 12 pounds. No rope or cable should be used which requires more than 50 pounds of force to separate the. payload packages from the balloon. No one may launch a high-altitude weather balloon which creates a hazard to other people and property.
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Yes, but only if you take the necessary precautions. Never launch a weather balloon in an area with congested air space and always coordinate your launch with the appropriate authorities. In the US that may include filing a NOTAM (Notice to Airmen).
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Are the balloons and radiosonde reused? Yes, ideally they can be. The radiosonde will typically have a bag and instructions attached if you happen to find one. According to Weather Service, only 1 out of 5 radiosonde released are recovered.
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Beneath the helium balloon is a shoebox-sized weather instrument called a radiosonde, a small, disposable instrument package that sends back weather data such as atmospheric pressure, temperature, relative humidity and wind speed. A typical weather balloon can last over two hours as it rises into the sky.
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Volume. As a weather balloon rises into high altitudes, where air pressure decreases, the helium or hydrogen pressure inside the balloon increases and expands the balloon. This way the balloon and the radiosonde can rise at a consistent pace high into the atmosphere.
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$129.00. Our 1200 g weather balloon is a workhorse that will transport your payload higher than any other 1200 g balloon.
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In two hours, a weather balloon can rise above the clouds, higher than the paths of jet planes, passing through the ozone layer in the stratosphere. Reaching altitudes of 35 km (22 miles) or higher, the balloons endure temperatures as cold as -90° C (-130° F).
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These observations include vertical profiles of temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction, atmospheric pressure, and geopotential height.
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These sensors are linked to a battery powered, 300 milliwatt radio transmitter that sends the sensor measurements to a sensitive ground receiver on a radio frequency ranging from 1668.4 ” 1700.0 MHz. By tracking the position of the radiosonde in flight, information on wind speed and direction aloft is also obtained.
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As the balloon ascends, the pressure of its environment decreases, and the balloon begins to expand. This expansion continues until the material of the balloon is stretched to its breaking point, causing the balloon to burst. This typically occurs at stratospheric altitudes between 30 and 35 km.
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As the air gets thinner, the balloon’s casing get tighter. This is due to the gas expanding within the balloon. The expanding gas causes the balloon to reach full capacity and it pops.
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So, latex helium balloons don’t go on space, heaven, to the moon or to the sun. They reach a point where the atmospheric pressure is less than the pressure inside the balloon itself. Finally, they burst as a result of an increase in pressure inside the balloon.
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Hydrogen is another gas lighter than air; it’s even lighter than helium. Hydrogen, however, is not used in balloons and this demonstration shows why. Helium is a special gas called a Noble Gas, which means it doesn’t burn.
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The air molecules in this space balloon would expand at an extremely rapid rate, quickly pushing the rubber walls past their elasticity limits, causing the balloon to explode.