NEUTRONS DETECTED IN THE STRATOSPHERE: On Dec. 8th, using a suborbital helium balloon, the students of Earth to Sky Calculus launched new type of Space Weather Buoy to the stratosphere. Unlike previous buoys, which measured only X-rays and gamma-rays, Space Weather Buoy 2.0 is also sensitive to neutrons. This just in: The flight was a success. To learn about the results, scroll past this photo taken by an onboard camera as the sun was setting at 95,700 feet.
The payload was recovered intact from its landing site near the Eureka Dunes of Death Valley National Park. The neutron sensor returned full of data. Students are still working the numbers, and complete results are not ready to be shared. However, we can say this much now: An abundance of neutrons were detected during the 2 hour flight. Peak rates reached 240 neutrons per minute, compared to ~0 neutrons per minute at ground level.