Frequent question: Where does a weather balloon go?

What eventually happens to a weather balloon?

As the balloon rises, the atmosphere thins and the pressure outside the balloon decreases allowing the balloon to expand and eventually break. This usually happens within two hours of the launch at elevations of 80,000 to 120,000 feet.

Can a weather balloon leave the atmosphere?

A helium-filled balloon can float very high up into the atmosphere, however, it cannot float up into outer space. The air in Earth’s atmosphere gets thinner the higher up you go. … This happens at about a height of 20 miles (32 kilometers) above Earth’s surface. So, this is as far as a helium balloon can rise.

Do weather balloons still exist?

Fast forward to today, the National Weather Service now has 92 sites where balloons are turned loose each day. “Weather balloons have gone through dozens of upgrades over the past 150 years. Radiosondes that used to weigh a few pounds are now just a few ounces. The balloons and strings are biodegradable.

Why does the balloon expand?

Air molecules collide into the balloon with the same energy inside and outside the balloon. … These molecules now collide into the balloon with more energy resulting in increased pressure. The increased pressure causes the balloon to expand.

How far up is space?

A common definition of space is known as the Kármán Line, an imaginary boundary 100 kilometers (62 miles) above mean sea level. In theory, once this 100 km line is crossed, the atmosphere becomes too thin to provide enough lift for conventional aircraft to maintain flight.

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Is it legal to send a weather balloon into space?

Yes, but only if you take the necessary precautions. Never launch a weather balloon in an area with congested air space and always coordinate your launch with the appropriate authorities. In the US that may include filing a NOTAM (Notice to Airmen).

Are radiosondes still used?

Radiosondes provide a primary source of upper-air data and will remain so into the foreseeable future.