This is a real, non-photoshopped image of FIREBall-2 hanging from the balloon with the moon in the background. Taken on September 22, 2018 from Los Alamos, NM.


So you want to put a telescope into the stratosphere…

FIREBall-2 is a UV balloon-borne telescope designed to observe faint emission from the outskirts of distant galaxies. It uses a delta-doped EMCCD designed by JPL and tested at Caltech.

FIREBall-2 launched from Fort Sumner, NM on September 22nd, 2018. The team is made up of amazing people from Caltech, Columbia, JPL, CNES, LAM, and now the University of Arizona.

Unfortunately for us all, the info online about FIREBall-2 tends towards the highly technical. Maybe that’s ok for a technical-ish project. The pictures remain amazing.

Images are taken by Erika Hamden, Philippe Balard of LAM, and Mouser Williams