Thursday, July 7, 2016

NearSys Flight 2016F

The most recent near space flight of NearSys occurred on July 2nd. On this mission the balloon reach 94,413 feet before bursting near Marsing, Idaho. One thing that made this flight unique is that it carried a thermal imager into near space, which I believe to be the first time a thermal imager has been to near space. Here is one of the images taken at 94,000 feet.
And here is the corresponding image from Google Earth.
You will notice that the Owyhee mountains appear in yellow. This is because they are a desert mountain range covered in dirt and dry grass. This means that they warm up very quickly in the sunlight. Canyons cutting through the mountain range appear as red streaks because they are protected from some sunlight and therefore a little bit cooler. Farmland, which is well irrigated and lush with green plants appears in blue and purple. This indicates that they are much cooler than dry dirt.

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