National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Weather Balloon watched from a telescope.
updated 6/03/04

On Thursday evening May 20th, Phil Akin in Fayetteville, GA tracked a balloon launched from the Peachtree City office in his telescope. He began tracking the balloon around 8 pm when it was approximately 50,000 feet in the air. In the first picture, you can see the string which is attached to the parachute and radiosonde. The last photgraph he took just before 9 pm, the balloon was approximately 112,000 feet in the air, and burst shortly thereafter. Mr. Akin was kind enough to provide the photographs to share with other weather enthusiasts.


[ Weather Balloon as seen through a telescope.  The Balloon was approximately 50,000 feet in the air at this point.]
The first image was taken around 8 pm.
[ Weather Balloon as seen through a telescope - as the balloon rises it increases in size.]
The Weather balloon continues to rise.
[ Weather Balloon continues to expand as it rises.  The Balloon was almost as big as it will get.]
The Balloon is around 100,000 feet in the atmosphere.
[ Weather Balloon at approximately 112,000 feet.]
The final image was taken around 9 pm, close to the time the balloon finally burst.