Friday 15 August 2008

Now that's a balloon!

It was hot yesterday, up to 90° F.

This is what I saw hovering over my FNC (friendly neighbourhood cemetery) in the afternoon. I won't attempt to get technical but here's the gist. 

The mini dirigible belongs to the Geography department of UBC.  The team on this 24 hour study are sampling for various conditions including, air temperature, relative humidity and, principally, CO2 at 5 second intervals on the way to 1500 ft. This is a unique piece of equipment, basically one of kind, as I understand it. One reason for working in the cemetery is the need to keep the balloon away from trees and wires. Green spaces also exhibit unique characteristics when it comes to measuring CO2.

Now for the really cool part. Ben, the PhD candidate on the project, will stay in the cemetery (with a team member I didn't meet) overnight taking readings. They know, from previous studies, that the scariest aspect of camping in the cemetery is coyotes and teenagers. Not necessarily in that order.

Ben and Kate about to send it up near sunset.


Laurie Allee said...

90 in Vancouver? Pigs are flying! What's going on here!?!

I've never seen one of these balloons before. My daughter would love it.

Anonymous said...

I'm just dreaming of 90 degrees!

Hats off to Ben. I'm doing a PhD too, and am amazed at all the tales I hear of what people do in the name of research. I was going to say that I haven't done anything spooky like staying in a graveyard, but I did move to Transylvania for 3 months (see Sibiu Daily Photo, that I've just started!) so maybe it's a PhD prerequisite!


Wayne said...

Laurie, no doubt your daughter would be enthralled. A little guy came by with his Mom when I was there last evening and he was speechless. They'd seen the thing blocks away.

Jackie, I checked on Ben this morning and he reports all was calm, no otherworldly activity. I was crestfallen.

Barbara Rahal said...

this is pretty cool!! I was cooking myself yesterday at the nat! ah ha ha they should put water and blow them once they are up!! eh eh e wouldn't that be refreshing??

Kim said...

Wow, Ben's showing real dedication to the research! Glad you checked up on him this morning. I love the shape of that big fat red balloon and how pretty it looks against the clear deep sky. A fun adventure.
Seattle Daily Photo

Jilly said...

Wow right, that really is a balloon. And goodness, it's hot with you? I'll stop complaining...

Jane Hards Photography said...

Now that is something. Interesting post. You really are a fun read when I get the opportunity.

Gerald (Ackworth born) said...

that the scariest aspect of camping in the cemetery is coyotes and teenagers.

o yes I can magine - that quote really made me smile this morning.