The Fruits of our Labor

These are the remaining pictures we have retrieved from our balloons and ground telescopes.

A sequence demonstrating the progression of the eclipse shot with an Orion 100mm refractor telescope with a Canon rebel EOS DSLR camera, stitched together by the wondrous John Bunyan
A combination of two pictures, our shot of totality from about 60,000 ft and a picture of the corona from the North Medford ground telescope (A Orion 100mm refractor telescope with a Canon rebel EOS DSLR camera)

The shadow of the moon moving across the Earth’s surface. Shot with a GoPro Hero 3+


Start of the ring shot with an Orion 100mm refractor telescope with a Canon rebel EOS DSLR camera.
An image taken by the North Medford payload capturing the Eagle payload during ascent. Shot with a GoPro Hero 3+ camera.

Amazing Photos of the Great American Eclipse!

The eclipse in totality looming over the Earth with its shadow. Taken from an elevation 60,000 feet, with a GoPro Hero 3+.

Another place. A different time. A wondrous occasion. August 21st, 2017 is a date we’ll never forget. Where were you when the moon obscured the sun? There are many answers, one to each person, but for our team of fifteen individuals, that place was a cozy little town called Dayville, Oregon.

The Umbra moving across the Earth, from an elevation of 60,000 feet. Image captured with a GoPro Hero 3+.

Our team was able to retrieve fantastic pictures from both the payload and our ground telescopes. Although there where a few complications during the event. The major problem was that our balloons ascended too fast causing the balloons to burst moments before totality. We believe that this was caused by the lack of wind, high atmospheric pressure and low humidity, resulting in weather conditions that did not slow the ascent of our balloon as usual.  The conditions were too ideal!

The elusive Diamond Ring, shot with an Orion 100mm refractor with a Canon Rebel EOS DSLR camera

Our contribution to Google’s Megamovie project was a major success. We obtained hundreds of magnificent pictures from our two telescopes. We were able to capture photos beginning at first contact and ending at fourth contact, even capturing images of the elusive Bailey’s beads and Diamond ring effect. All thanks to the help of the wonderful John Bunyan and Dave Bloomsness.

The elusive Bailey’s Beads, shortly before the long awaited totality, shot with an Orion 100mm refractor with a Canon Rebel EOS DSLR camera

Due to the lack of wind our payloads landed very close to our launch location, this does not mean that the retrieval was an easy task. The Tornado Payload was found on the ground about half a mile off a dirt road making the retrieval on this payload fairly easy. The Eagle Payload was much more difficult to recover, due to it being stuck in a tree down the steep slope of a mountain. We tried many different ways to retrieve this payload, from throwing rocks at it, to trying to cut the tree down with a small hatchet. We were able to retrieve the payload by using a dead tree to hook it, and bring it safely to the ground.

Prominence from the North Medford telescope set up: Orion 100mm refractor with Canon Rebel EOS DSLR camera
Image of the Corona shot with an Orion 100mm refractor with a Canon Rebel EOS DSLR camera


This has been a truly amazing project to be part of, and we can not wait until the next eclipse. We would like to thank everyone for all the support and keeping up with the project. From ours to yours: See you, Space Cowboys!

The team just before the event.
One of our balloons capturing another, with a GoPro Hero 3+

Last Interview With The Valley 106.3 Before The Eclipse

On August 15th Robert Black and Reyna Kirschel were interviewed about the High Altitude Balloon project by The Valley 106.3 hosted by Paul Gerardi. Its a ten minute interview talking about: Possible risks during the balloon trip that might befall the team,  the various roles the students play in the trip, the other various projects that are planned to be happening, and how to view the total solar eclipse through stream from the balloon team.

Robert Black
Reyna Kirschel