U. of C. prof leads stadium-sized ‘super’ balloon project

University of Chicago professor Angela Olinto. (NASA / University of Chicago / via DNAinfo)

HYDE PARK — A University of Chicago professor is one of the leaders of a NASA project that launched a “Super Pressure” balloon this week in search of what she says is “the most energetic cosmic particles that we’ve ever observed.”

The balloon, reportedly “stadium-sized” when fully inflated, features a telescope that will take 400,000 images a second using an ultraviolet camera that scientists at the U of C and around the world will use to study the cosmic rays.

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The launch this week from Wanaka Airport in New Zealand was the eighth attempt after seven previous efforts were blocked by weather.

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