Solar Eclipse Balloon Network

$2,620 of $9,000 goal

Raised by 24 people in 33 months

Experience the Great American Solar Eclipse from the edge of space! Help us create the first-ever 360-degree movie of the Moon's shadow sweeping across the contintental U.S. during a total eclipse of the sun.

Spaceweather.com and the students of Earth to Sky Calculus have developed a balloon payload that can photograph solar eclipses from the stratosphere. This sets the stage for a one-of-a-kind photography experiment: On August 21, 2017, the Moon will pass in front of the sun over the USA, producing a total eclipse visible from coast to coast. We will launch balloons to record the event from as many as a dozen points along the path of totality. Pinpins show our confirmed launch sites so far:


Floating more than 100,000 feet above the clouds, the balloons will have an unobstructed view of the eclipse.  Each payload will be equipped with a 360-degree camera.  This camera will record not only the sun's ghostly corona in the sky above, but also the Moon’s dark shadow racing across the landscape below. When the eclipse is finished, we will combine the footage to create a unique video portrait of an eclipse sweeping across the American continent. This will be the first time in history a movie of a full eclipse as it moves across the United States is captured.
Our payload has already traveled to the stratosphere and photographed a partial solar eclipse in Oct. 2014:


To test the payload under conditions of totality, a team of students and parents from Earth to Sky Calculus visited Indonesia on March 9, 2016.  They were stationed on a beach in the island of Belitung when the Moon's shadow enveloped them for 3 full minutes. Our spherical eclipse camera and other optics did a great job recording the event.


There's more to our mission than photography, however. We are also going to conduct a unique experiment in atmospheric radiation. 

For the past three years we have been flying balloons to the stratosphere equipped with neutron, X-ray, and gamma-ray sensors.  As a result of these flights, we've discovered that cosmic rays in Earth's atmosphere are intensifying.  Here is a plot of radiation dose rates over California:


What's happening over the rest of the country? The solar eclipse gives us a chance to find out.  With teams launching balloons and radiation sensors from as many as a dozen sites, we can get a unique snapshot of the cosmic ray environment in the North American atmosphere from ground level to 120,000 feet and from coast to coast. 

Readers, would you like to join the Solar Eclipse Balloon Network? There are lots of ways you can help.

We still need lots of hardware for our payloads--including more radiation sensors, GPS trackers, and cameras.  Donating to our Gofundme Campaign will allow us to purchase these crucial items and dispatch teams of students across the country to study the Great American Solar Eclipse from the edge of space. With enough funding we can launch multiple balloons from each, increasing the footage we can take and the number of people who can participate. 

Please note that even small donations make a big difference.  Our entire ballooning program--the most active such non-government program in the world--has thrived thanks to contributions from private individuals and small companies. In the rewards list below, award levels range from $6000 all the way down to $35.  Every level is important to our unique crowd-funded research program.

$35 Safe Solar Eclipse Viewing Glasses -- Donate at this level to receive a pair of safe solar eclipse viewing glasses. Bonus: your glasses have already been flown to the edge of space on an Earth to Sky balloon payload.



$100 Shirts and Shades -- Receive your own limited edition Earth to Sky tee-shirt and a pair of safe solar eclipse viewing glasses. The glasses have been flown to the edge of space on an Earth to Sky balloon payload.



$300 Individual Attendance --Join Earth to Sky team members at one of our western launch sites (Oregon, Idaho, or Wyoming).  You'll help launch a balloon and see  a total eclipse of the sun.
You'll also receive:

- A limited edition Earth to Sky tee-shirt

- Solar Eclipse Viewing Glasses

- A video compilation of the launch and footage captured by the payload launched from your site



$550 The Couples Plan
-- You and a friend can join Earth to Sky team members at one of our western launch sites (Oregon, Idaho, or Wyoming). You'll help launch a balloon and see a total eclipse of the sun.
You'll also receive:

- Limited edition Earth to Sky tee-shirts for you and your friend

- Solar Eclipse Viewing Glasses

- A video compilation of the launch and footage captured by the payload launched from your site



$1000 The Family Plan
-- Participate in a balloon launch with Earth to Sky at one of our western launch sites inside the path of totality.

This level includes:
- Entrance for yourself and up to 3 family members at the launch site of your choice in Oregon, Idaho, or Wyoming

- Earth to Sky tee-shirts for your entire party

- Solar Eclipse Viewing Glasses

- A video compilation of the launch and footage captured by the payload launched from your site


$4000 Payload Sponsor -- Dreaming of launching your own balloons for research or fun? Payload sponsors get a payload of their own--everything you need to kickstart your own balloon program.
Payload Sponsors will receive:

- A fully functioning Earth to Sky radiation payload, including a flight computer, SPOT trackers, two GoPro cameras, a GPS altimeter, temperature and pressure sensors, an x-ray/gamma sensor to detect cosmic radiation and the payload parachute and cord

- Attendance and participation at one of our launch sites for yourself and up to 3 friends or family members

- Up to 4 hours of personal instruction to successfully launch and recover your first payload

- Inclusion in the growing Earth to Sky radiation research balloon network




$6000 VIP Launch Site Sponsor -- Support an entire launch site--including travel costs for the student launch team, a complete eclipse payload, balloons and helium.

As a VIP supporter you will receive:
- Attendance and participation at the launch for yourself and up to 3 friends or family members

- The right to send the object of your choice (within payload size and weight limits) on the eclipse payload

- Prominent recognition before, during and after the eclipse, as individuals or as a company for your contribution to the SEBN on Spaceweather.com and EarthtoSky.net, which receive over 100,000 unique site vists a day. 

- A video compilation of the launch and footage captured by the payload launched from your site

-- Interested in a different kind of recognition or promotion? Talk to us and we'll work together to accommodate your needs. 

What else?
VIP Founders will go a long way toward ensuring the success of the SEBN project to create a first-ever movie of a full eclipse as it moves across the United States and to capture unique radiation data to further Earth to Sky's research into cosmic radiation.

Thank you for your support!




And now, a few friendly notes from our attorney:


Viewing of a solar eclipse without proper equipment or eye protection may result in permanent damage to a person's vision.  Earth to Sky Calculus is not responsible for any injuries which may be sustained by any participant.

Site specific requests cannot be guaranteed but Earth to Sky Calculus will make every attempt to accommodate requests for specific viewing locations.

Any donor attending a viewing will be required to execute a release and hold harmless agreement agreeing to hold Earth to Sky Calculus, its members and the property owner harmless should injury or damage occur to a participant during the launch and viewing.

All participants shall follow any rules or directives provided by the Earth to Sky Calculus site leader.  Failure to follow any rules or directives may result in removal from the site.

In the event a person is deemed detrimental to the other participants, the launch or the viewing of other participants, Earth to Sky Calculus reserves the right to remove anyone from any viewing site or launch location.  Such removal is in the sole discretion of the Earth to Sky Calculus site leader.

Earth to Sky Calculus cannot guarantee each participant will be able to view the solar eclipse, given the unpredictability of weather.

All donations are made without warranty, guarantees or promises except as provided herein and no refunds shall be provided. 

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Lizzi Schippert
15 months ago

I want to make a Couples donation but need info on location, flights, accommodations, car rental, etc.

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$2,620 of $9,000 goal

Raised by 24 people in 33 months
Created February 22, 2016
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AC
$5
ADRIAN CROWE
2 months ago

STILL AWAITING A ECLIPSE T-SHIRT FROM MY LAST $100 DONATION.

KS
$100
Kyle Sandersen
14 months ago

Looking forward to 2024 !

$50
Shelley Olds
15 months ago

Remember to video/photograph looking down too! A great shadow racing across Earth's surface...

$250
Anonymous
15 months ago
$300
Anonymous
15 months ago
JH
$100
Jeanne Hamrick
15 months ago

Keep up the good work! Maybe we'll see you in Wyoming : )

AC
$100
ADRIAN CROWE
16 months ago

What part of Wyoming is the balloon being launched ? Ill be in and about Casper 21st

DC
$250
Daniel Cervantes
16 months ago

Feynman Observatory supports the cutting-edge science and innovative science education of Earth to Sky Calculus!

Lizzi Schippert
15 months ago

I want to make a Couples donation but need info on location, flights, accommodations, car rental, etc.

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