Balloons to Provide Eclipse View From 100,000 Feet
By The Associated Press/West Kentucky Star Staff
PADUCAH, KY - The upcoming Great American Eclipse has already been labeled as the most watched astronomical event in human history. Millions of Americans will view it live from their own backyards, or at organized events. Around the world, hundreds of millions more will view it live on the internet, including through cameras launched by balloons to stream video from 100,000 feet into the stratosphere.

Fifty-seven high school and college teams are part of the NASA Eclipse Ballooning Project, who will coordinate a precision sequence of launches along the path of totality from Oregon to South Carolina and even Puerto Rico. Several of the launch crews will be based in our region.

One launch will take place from WKCTC in Paducah, during their "Night at Noon" eclipse party. The Challenger Learning Center will host the official NASA viewing event, including a balloon launch by a student team from Bluegrass Community and Technical College, and remarks from former astronaut Terry Wilcutt.
A team of students from the University of Kentucky will launch a balloon near Hopkinsville, as will a crew from Hopkinsville Community College. Austin Peay University's Astronomy and Physics Department will send off a balloon from Clarksville.

Students from two Connecticut universities will launch at Kenlake State Resort Park near the spot where the eclipse will be in totality for the longest amount of time. The Gannon University balloon team from Pennsylvania will launch from Trigg County High School in Cadiz.

The balloon videos will be combined with feeds from 11 spacecraft, three NASA jets, and even the crew from the International Space Station in a worldwide "Megacast" that will be hosted at Saluki Stadium in Carbondale. The broadcast will also include earthbound coverage from events happening at parks, libraries, museums and stadiums along the path.

WKCTC's "Night at Noon" event in Paducah is free to the public, and information is available at the link below.

On the Net:

WKCTC 'Night at Noon' event info
Student Balloon team feeds and roster
"Eclipse Across America: From the Eyes of NASA"

Published 08:56 PM, Wednesday Aug. 09, 2017
Updated 05:34 AM, Friday Aug. 11, 2017

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