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Solar telescope reaches 120,000 feet on jumbo-jet-sized balloon

Balloon the size of a Boeing 747 jumbo jet

In October 2007, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado, and a team of research partners successfully launched a solar telescope to an altitude of 120,000 feet using this balloon, which is larger than a Boeing 747 jumbo jet. The test cleared the way for long-duration polar balloon flights beginning in 2009 that will capture unprecedented details of the sun's surface.

[Funding for NCAR's work on the project came from NASA and NSF, NCAR's primary sponsor.]

To learn more, see the NSF News Release Solar telescope reaches 120,000 feet on jumbo jet-sized balloon. (Date image taken: 2007; date originally posted to NSF Multimedia Gallery: Dec. 26, 2017)

Credit: 2007 ©University Corporation for Atmospheric Research/NCAR

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