Duval County

UNF students preparing to do experiments with high-altitude balloon during April’s solar eclipse

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The “Great North American Solar Eclipse” is fast approaching and University of North Florida science students are preparing to do some very important experiments with a high-altitude balloon.

Action News Jax First Alert Chief Meteorologist Mike Buresh first introduced you to the students in August as they were getting ready for an annular eclipse in New Mexico in October. 


The students and physics professor Dr. Nirmal Patel were thrilled with the results measuring a decrease in ozone, temperatures, UV light, and humidity.

Even greater changes are expected to be measured during the total solar eclipse with the balloon launch to take place in Arkansas during the total solar eclipse on April 8. 

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Cameras on the balloon should offer an excellent view as the balloon rises to at least 85,000 feet. And sound will be recorded on the ground too to determine how insects and animals behave during totality.

A big goal of the project is to measure gravity waves – a phenomenon that can affect the weather on the ground including the development of thunderstorms.

UNF will share that data with NASA as well as other universities around the country.

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