Watch: UNC Student Detector Takes Flight During Eclipse

frame of launch of NASA weather balloon

August 22, 2017

A device created by UNC students to measure particles in the upper atmosphere went up in a NASA weather balloon during Monday's solar eclipse. The launch, captured in this video by Assistant Professor Charles Kuehn, took place in Camp Guernsey in southeastern Wyoming. Kuehn, one of the team's faculty advisers, reports the device was retrieved across the border in neighboring Nebraska. 

"We’ll pick up the detector from the recovery team later this week and start looking at the data," Kuehn said. "Hopefully we’ll have a very quick and dirty plot of the muon count (the particles students are measuring) within a week or two but deeper analysis will take a while."

The balloon with the UNC student team's payload aboard lifts off from Camp Guernsey in southeastern Wyoming. Photo courtesy of Charles Kuehn

On the ground, the team dealt with strong winds as they prepared for the launch. Photo courtesy of Charles Kuehn

John Ringler holds the muon detector he built with fellow UNC seniors Josh Fender and Justin Morse. Photo courtesy of Charles Kuehn

Photo courtesy of Charles Kuehn

Photo courtesy of Charles Kuehn

The total eclipse witnessed by the team of UNC students and faculty. Photo courtesy of Charles Kuehn

Related Story: UNC Student Project Selected to be Aboard NASA Balloon During Solar Eclipse