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Collect atmospheric data

Atmospheric scientists at Rothera Research Station collect data about the atmosphere above the Antarctic Peninsula.

This is done by launching radiosonde meteorological balloons which have small sensors and a transmitter attached to them. The balloons are filled with helium and so rise high into the Antarctic atmosphere sampling the air and transmitting the data back to the station far below.

Prepare to launch a meteorological balloon from Rothera to gather data about the atmosphere above the station. You’ll be led by an experienced climatologist who will talk you through the process of instrument calibration, filling the balloon and finally launching it into the southern sky!

Can you find out whether the atmosphere gets colder or warmer the higher you go? How does the pressure change, and the wind speed? And how does altitude affect the dew point of water vapour (the temperature when clouds form)?


Collect atmospheric data

Atmospheric studies have been taking place at Rothera for over 30 years, providing vital information about the changes happening in the atmosphere above the Antarctic Peninsula. Weather balloons like this are launched every day.


Balloon launch at Rothera Research Station

Launch a VR panorama file and see a balloon launch from Rothera Research Station. Use your mouse or keyboard to explore this Quicktime Virtual Reality movie.