Group launches weather balloon to get high altitude view of eclipse

August 22, 2017 12:18 AM

The team behind an eclipse balloon trip is hoping for a dramatic look at our historic celestial event.

Monday evening, members of the educational organization Overlook Horizon were out looking for a high altitude weather balloon they sent up in the afternoon just before the eclipse started.

The mission began at Canandaigua Academy, but moved into Onondaga County -- where the balloon apparently landed. According to the group, the instrument package on the balloon may have landed in a swamp in the Assembly Park area.


Their hope is to get it back home and start posting some of those pictures from the edge of space sometime Monday evening.

Jed Kovalozsky says, "The launch and the eclipse, it's kind of two spectacles for today. So that's really exciting."

Music teacher Jed Kovalozsky got a dose of science and history when he came out to Canandaigua for the launch by Outlook Horizon.

"My grandparents, they said they remember the last one in 1979 or something," he adds. "That's another reason you feel like you have to make it out."

The mission carried instruments and cameras 20 miles up. But the biggest challenge was timing the trip so the balloon could float up at just the right time and then land somewhere it could be recovered.

"To me it's like a treasure hunt," says Kerry Cannan, Outlook Horizon. "Chasing it down, trying to find it. It gets a little hairy sometimes, lands in some precarious places."

The Outlook Horizon team tracked the balloon over the course of the afternoon, unsure about where it was for a while when its transmitters started cutting out, until it touched down in the area of Assembly near Tully, east of Skaneateles Lake. That's where the team from Outlook Horizon headed out for the big payoff from the mission.


Charles Molineaux

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