|Two members of the launch and recovery team|
point to EVA the cow where she landed
in Death Valley. Photo from the
Last month, when a heat wave swept across the U.S. Southwest, with temperatures in Death Valley reaching as high as 129 F, the students decided to find out if the heat wave extended all the way into space, that is, up into the stratosphere. On June 30, when it was 108 in Bishop, they launched a research balloon that had onboard a cryogenic thermometer and measured temperature up to 90,000 set. The thermometer registered a "low" temperature of -64.4 C, where the balloon passed through the tropopause. The troposphere is the coldest part of the atmosphere, and it was just as cold as usual on that day. Their measured temperatures ranged from about -68 C (-90 F) to -55C (-67 F).** The answer was: heat waves to not extend up to the tropopause.
A Google search about the Earth to Sky program reveals a video of EVA the cow (from Tauranga, New Zealand) who, on April 22, 2013, they sent on a weather balloon to the edge of space. EVA successfully parachuted back into Death Valley. It took the students 18 hours to find her! This is a truly cool video!
The students have launched other items including a bobblehead of President Barack Obama on the day before Election Day in 2012. These kids look like they are having a lot of fun and learning a lot as well. Kudos to them, their families and teachers!
**This material from their Facebook page.