CCA Space Grant Videos and Media Coverage


The purpose of the Community College of Aurora’s eclipse ballooning experiment was to capture high quality video of the solar eclipse, and of the motion of the moon’s shadow as it moves across the earth at approximately 1,500 miles/hour. The experiment flew three video cameras, the first pointing straight up, the second toward the horizon, and the third straight down.

The camera pointing up shows lens flaring from the sun before and after the eclipse is total. During totality, the sun is much dimmer but can still be seen, due to the emission from the Sun’s corona.

The horizon camera shows the moon’s shadow approaching the balloon from the west, passing over the balloon, and moving off to the east. Because the ground speed of the balloon is about 30 miles/hour, almost all of the apparent motion of the shadow is due to its motion, and not the motion of the balloon.

The downward pointing camera shows the area directly below the balloon being plunged into darkness  as the shadow of the moon passes over the balloon. The motion of the leading and trailing edges of the shadow give us a good sense of how fast the shadow is traveling across the ground.




  • This Week at NASA video, covering the microgravity project our students did at Johnson Space Center in 2011. Includes some nice shots of our students and their experiment in flight, and a short interview with CCA student Ian Jones.
  • COSGC News Letter with a nice story about CCA HASP and Microgravity projects.

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