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IU, Taylor Universities Launch Weather Balloon

Several students and faculty members from both IU and Taylor University gathered Wednesday morning in Dunn Meadow for a high altitude weather balloon launch.

Wind, pressure, and temperature are just a few things this balloon will be able to detect once launched in the air. Researchers will be able to gather “near space” activity, due to the high altitude in which this balloon can reach.

One of those researchers is Taylor University Professor Hank Voss. He said this morning’s unexpected snow, may make for a more interesting launch.

“Overall,” he said, “I think this will be a really interesting data set as we go through the clouds and watch the different temperatures, pressures, and so forth and then we get above the clouds we’ll be bright sun light and then we’ll get ultraviolet light and all the other measurements as we go up.”

Voss said the balloon has the ability to detect radiation.

“We have the sensitivity,” he said, “to see the cosmic rays coming…upper atmosphere.”

IU student Katie McMahon is excited about her first weather balloon launch.

“Right now we’re just watching,” she said, “later on we’ll get to see what happened with it.”

According to Voss, data from the launch will be retrieved though an instrument regardless if the balloon returns or not.

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