PiBaL 2017 Was A Huge Success

| May 19, 2017 @ 5:30 am

By Pizitz Middle School Sixth Grader Bella Gentry

Teacher Diane McAliley and part of her launch team setting up for the mission.

Pizitz students successfully launched their weather balloon, PiBal on May 10th! After launching it, three retrieval teams went to track down the balloon.

The rising balloon nearly eclipsing the sun.

The balloon ended up landing in South Georgia around Americus and Plains. They found the balloon on the farm of two former science teachers who are now peanut farmers. They started to search in the back woods of the farm, and thankfully, a student wandered from the group a bit and spotted it. They were able to pull the balloon out of the tree and not have to use any equipment.

The students and teachers were surprised about how far the balloon went, seeing as it traveled between about 3 ½ – 4 hours away from Birmingham. The balloon reached 27,905 m or 17.34 miles into the the stratosphere and got an awesome view of our atmosphere, the thin blue veil, and the sun.

The temperature probe recorded -62.3°C or -80.1°F. The air pressure at burst was only 9 millibars which means our balloon experienced 1% of normal air pressure (99% of all the air was below it)!

The balloon was in the air for 5 hours and 17 minutes.

View from the payload at around 90,000 feet just before the balloon burst.

Everyone at Pizitz Middle School is so happy with the launch of PiBal!

– Bella Gentry

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About the Author ()

Bill Murray is the President of The Weather Factory. He is the site's official weather historian and a weekend forecaster. He also anchors the site's severe weather coverage. Bill Murray is the proud holder of National Weather Association Digital Seal #0001 @wxhistorian

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