Facility in East Texas plays major role in the upcoming eclipse

Palestine Eclipse Balloons

PALESTINE, TX - The eclipse is just a few days away and a facility right here in East Texas is playing a major role in the event.

Atmospheric Scientist, Ross Hays describes the eclipse being over the United States as, "once in a lifetime!"

It's been 40 years since a total eclipse has occurred in the U.S. and over 90 years since one has traveled from coast to coast.

During the eclipse close to 100 balloons will be launched from over 30 locations throughout the country.

The balloons are made in Sulphur Springs, Texas before being transferred to the Colombia Scientific Balloon Facility (CSBF) in Palestine where there are practice launches before they are stored and shipped out.

The balloons are made up of polyethylene, which is similar in thickness and texture to a sandwich wrapper.

When the balloons launch they will carry scientific equipment for collecting data. Cameras will also be on some of the balloons, capturing the images from the edge of space for viewers all around the world to see.

Hays warns that if you don't have eclipse glasses and do not want to view the eclipse online, do not look at it without protection. The eclipse can burn your retinas in just a few seconds.

He also gave a few other tricks to watch - one of them only requires two sheets of paper.

"Put a pinhole in a piece of paper hold it over and have another sheet of paper and it will show the sun on a piece of paper going through the light."

You can watch the live stream here and remember that it's all due to those balloons made right here in East Texas. 

© 2017 KYTX-TV


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