High Altitude Balloon Burst
The photo shows the remains of a high altitude balloon just after it burst far above the Thessalian Plain of northern Greece. This was Greece’s first suborbital photography project. The project that launched the balloon is referred to as SlaRos (Tesla,Ikaros); the mission is called Stratonauts. Mount Olympus is beneath the clouds at top left – to the left of the balloon is the Aegean Sea.
The balloon reached an altitude of 111,296 ft (33, 923m) before bursting. All such high altitude balloons burst when theatmospheric air pressure is too low to contain the expanding volume of the gas within the balloon. This balloon’s capsule was retrieved intact and will be re-used for a future launch. Note that since there are too few air molecules at altitudes above about 60,000 ft (18,288 m) to effectively scatter sunlight, the sky appears essentially black. Photo taken at 12:29 UTC on August 26, 2013.