Primary School Students Capture Incredible Images of Earth Using a Weather Balloon and Camera

 Photo of Earth Taken by a Weather Balloon

Students at a primary school in England got a special surprise this Earth Day after helping launch a weather balloon into Near Space. Fitted with an Insta360 ONE X2 action camera, the balloon sailed over 80,000 feet high into the atmosphere and delivered some incredible images of our planet. The entire event was arranged by Hi-Impact, an organization that aims to bring technology and media into the school curriculum.

In the lead-up to the event, the students at the St. Bridget's Catholic Primary School in Merseyside learned about how air pressure causes helium to expand at altitude and will eventually force the balloon to burst. They also learned how to predict the flight path using wind forecasts and what kind of experiments to send on the payload.

After working together for a week to create the space balloon, the students were able to see how their creation performed. The balloon and camera spent two hours in flight before coming back to Earth about 125 miles from the launch site in Wales. Thanks to the multiple trackers that Hi-Impact placed on the payload, everything was collected so that the students could enjoy the fruits of their labor. And the footage on the camera didn't disappoint.

“The 360-degree camera gives Hi-Impact the ability to see everything that goes on during the flight—from the excited faces at takeoff, through the rain as it passes into the clouds, and eventually the blackness of the sky and the burst of the balloon before drifting back down aided by a parachute,” shared Simon Sloan, Hi-Impact's Innovation Manager.

The camera not only gave them a beautiful gift in the form of media footage but it was also selected because it is able to withstand extreme temperatures. During this flight, for instance, the Insta360 was exposed to -49 degrees Fahrenheit. By using these hands-on experiences, Hi-Impact is hopeful that the students will gain a better understanding of their world and an increased appreciation for what they need to do to protect it.

This 360-degree view of our planet was taken in celebration of Earth Day.

Photo of Earth Taken with a Weather Balloon

The camera was attached to a weather balloon created by primary school students in England.

Photo of Earth Taken with a Weather Balloon

They excitedly launched this Space Balloon, which sailed up into the atmosphere over 80,000 feet.

Students Launching a Weather Balloon

Check out this incredible video to see footage of the flight captured by the Insta360 ONE X2 action camera attached to the balloon.


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A post shared by Insta360 (@insta360)

Hi-Impact: Website | Facebook | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Hi-Impact.

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Staff Editor and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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