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Solar eclipse balloon launch from Corvallis will capture streaming video of eclipse from 18 miles above the earth

Jul 26, 2017
A team of Oregon Tech students and faculty are working with NASA to send up payloads attached to high altitude balloons on the day of the eclipse

On Monday, August 21st, 2017, the skies above Oregon and other parts of America will be shrouded beneath the “path of totality” of a solar eclipse. Solar eclipses happen a little less than once a year, but total solar eclipses are very rare to witness firsthand. The last total solar eclipse to touch any of the 50 states of America was on July 11th, 1991, making it 26 years since Americans have been able to see one from home. Being such a rare opportunity, Oregon Tech and 53 other national collegiate and high school teams will be working in tandem with NASA to capture this historical moment.

Each team will send up a high-definition video camera attached to a high altitude balloon to get a clear shot of the shadow of the moon as it crosses the earth during the eclipse. These cameras will be streaming online through Stream.Live for those unable to attend the event. During a June test launch, Oregon Tech’s video had impressive views of Mt. Jefferson and the Cascade Range and was deemed by NASA to have some of the best video quality of all participating teams.

Oregon Tech’s team will be launching from the roof of the Crop Science Building at Oregon State University's campus in Corvallis, Oregon. The balloons are expected to reach altitudes of about 80,000 feet during the eclipse and will continue to an altitude of around 100,000 feet before they finally burst, capturing the shadow of the moon crossing the Earth from the stratosphere.

GRASP2If for some reason you are unable to witness the eclipse in person, be sure to watch the high-definition stream on our YouTube channel or watch any of the teams through http://eclipse.stream.live/ when the day finally arrives. For more information about Oregon Tech’s involvement, go to the team’s website, http://oitgrasp.wixsite.com/eclipse or contact francis.bartholomew@oit.edu.
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