Sundogs and Balloon

The Swiss (EPFL) HeliKite tethered balloon pollution sampling system.

On a cold Sunday, the Swiss tethered balloon group flew pollution-sensing instruments below a tethered balloon called a “HeliKite” from the UAF Farm fields. This balloon is being used to determine how high the pollution gets above the ground and also if there are lofted layers of pollution that may mix down to the surface and affect breathing-level air quality. It was a crisp cold morning, and ice particles in the atmosphere formed “sun dogs”, which are pilars of light to either side of the sun in this panoramic photo.

Sundogs formed by ice crystals and the helikite (small on the right side of the photo).