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  • way thing.

  • This is the most spectacular natural light show on Earth.

  • These images, filmed from the International Space Station, capture what has drawn people from around the world for centuries.

  • I have come all the way from Australia to see it for myself.

  • Welcome to Alaska.

  • I'm just outside of Fairbanks, and I'm trying to find the northern lights.

  • The aurora borealis.

  • The sun enters the peak of its 11 year sunspot cycle.

  • It ejects high speed electrons and protons into space deflected by the earth's magnetic field.

  • They collide with the upper atmosphere near the poles, producing the Aurora but with spectacular lights.

  • Also comes the threat of disruption to our technological infrastructure.

  • Charges streaming in from the sun can damage satellites, cause extensive power outages and disrupt the flight paths of planes around the poles.

  • Scientists warn that unless we find out more about solar storms, we are extremely vulnerable to a geomagnetic catastrophe by the glaciers of the Alaska mountain.

  • Over to this research, I'm joining a team of scientists, teachers and students.

  • Today we're flying over the snow covered mountains of Denali National Park to test out our gear in spectacular surrounds.

  • So what sort of research are you doing?

  • Yeah, well, we typically do high altitude balloon launches.

  • That sort of the gist of project ether for students, especially that don't have access to the near space environment way.

  • Try to open that up.

  • We're trying to further the science of rural research and looking at the details of how it sort of the global electrical circuit connects and how the Aurora plays into that and causes this beautiful aurora and sort of the physics involved thief.

  • Using a full tank of helium, the team inflates a latex weather balloon to two meters in diameter.

  • This'll provides enough lift for a 6 to 7 kilogram payload.

  • We're gonna send this up well about 25 kilometers or so.

  • This will help us assess wind conditions in the upper atmosphere in preparation for tonight's launch into the Aurora.

  • That's actually really good boy and see just a little bit of lip when it goes up this late Texas flexible So it keeps expanding, expanding, handing.

  • You go from about six or eight feet up to about 30 feet diamond so the you know, 10 meters.

  • So you're the size of a small house.

  • Eventually, you reach some limit where just can't keep expanding, and then it pops and then you fall back down and we fall by parachute Theo Recovered footage provides a stunning view from the edge of space, but the real challenge is launching a weather balloon into the Aurora at night.

  • The conditions haven't been ideal because tonight it's a bit cloudy but hazy, and we've got a moon out, which is nearly full, so it makes it very difficult to spot.

  • These northern lights balloon must rise into the stratosphere at just the right moment to catch the intermittent Aurora in action.

  • The next morning, we're on the hunt for the payload.

  • From 30 balloons on, Lee won the caught sight of the Aurora.

  • This is the first shot of the Aurora from a weather balloon at nearly eye level for them to build some sort of rig.

  • Put a camera on it, touch it, lick it, smell it, send it up 100,000 feet to the edge of space and get it back.

  • You know, it's really awesome to see those pictures to see that your device went up there with young scientists taking up the challenge.

  • These images and the data gathered provide just a glimpse into the future of research on the Aurora and how solar emissions affect our lives.

way thing.

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B2 H-INT aurora balloon spectacular northern expanding research

Northern Lights From 100,000 ft!

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    林宜悉   posted on 2020/03/28
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