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Students conduct experiments at PARI for eclipse

A team of college astronomers from Lenoir-Rhyne University gathered at PARI to conduct experiments during Monday's total solar eclipse. The group had been working on the project for a year, and after a slow start, they successfully launched it into the sky. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff) 

A team of college astronomers from Lenoir-Rhyne University gathered at PARI to conduct experiments during Monday's total solar eclipse.

The group had been working on the project for a year, and after a slow start, they successfully launched it into the sky.

"The temperature, the humidity, that's what I'm excited for and of course the pictures and the footage," Juan Hernandez said.

The team first launched a demo balloon to make sure everything was working properly and launched the real balloon after the eclipse started, getting off to a slow start before finally sending it into the sky.

"When it finally went up, it was amazing because we were working on this for a year and, you know, just to see our reward and the fruits of our labor coming out. It's amazing," Jake Robinson said.

The advisor for the group, Doug Knight, a professor of physics at the school said he was proud of what his students had done.

"Our balloon burst during totality at 99,400 feet, ah Jeez! That's just awesome. Can't get much better than that," he said.

He said the results of their tests should be available Monday evening and you can see some of their work on Facebook at LR Balloon Team.

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