LSU students help broadcast first solar eclipse live stream from high-altitude balloon

August 20, 2017 - 1:36 pm
Categories: Reporting

The first ever live broadcast of a solar eclipse from a high-altitude balloon will take place in Illinois by the Louisiana Space Grant Consortium, a NASA based program of LSU students. Professor and Associate Chair of the LSU Physics and Astronomy Department Dr. Dana Browne says by hanging an HD video camera underneath a weather balloon, they will be able to see the shadow of the moon crossing over the earth’s surface.

“The balloon is going to go up to about 100,000 feet during the time of the eclipse and it should be up at altitude just about the time that the total eclipse is happening in Carbondale.”

Browne says the video will be sent from the balloon to the ground station through a wireless transmitter and then live streamed. He says it took a lot of practice to perfect the video recording from a moving balloon.

“Getting a good video signal is a real chore. It’s much like if your digital signal in your cable service or your satellite gets bad, it’s almost invisible to you.”

Browne says LaSpace is partnering with NASA to live steam the solar eclipse. He says we will be able to see the eclipse in a way we’ve never seen it before through the high-altitude balloon.

“This idea of pointing the video cameras downward and actually watching the path of the moon’s shadow, this is a new way of viewing it.”

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