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2017 Total Solar Eclipse Near Space Balloon Project

For the total solar eclipse of 2017, MERLAB designed and built a pair of near space balloon payloads in order to photograph the lunar shadow on the Earth's surface. This design was light weight compact, and inexpensive while retaining redundancy in the systems. The 'Totaliteam' included students from the Eastman School of Music, Agnes Scott College, Carleton College, Brentwood Middle School, Brentwood High School, Lincoln Park Performing Arts School, and adult volunteers. With local support from the Pettit family, we successfully launched both balloons near Princeton, KY.

The payload without cover or transmitters
Both assembled payloads during testing
Scene from the launch at the Pettit farm in Princeton, KY
Photo from the ground just after launch
First photo on ascent
Broader view of the region
Above the first clouds, below the high layer
Above the clouds
The 'diamond ring' from the approaching eclipse
The lunar shadow over the Land Between the Lakes
The shadow has moved eastward
The trailing 'diamond ring' in the distance
Our highest photograph from the mission