Sunday, February 1, 2009

Out Of The Blue

I just never know where the next sketch is coming from. This one came out of nowhere. Saturday I was looking out toward our back yard and saw something orange in the pasture just north of us. Thought it was a gas can, since our neighbor was out in his pasture earlier in the day (lives in town). When I walked over to check it out the thing was a plastic parachute rigged up with everything you see here. When I was a kid my Uncle Lawrence found a weather balloon in his pasture and I remember playing with it with my cousins. The balloon material looks the same. The instruments are much smaller and lighter now, though. Some Internet research filled in the rest of the facts I mention in the journal. Pretty neat stuff. I used my voltmeter to check the 'just add water' battery and it's dead. Final proof that it's trash. There's no "If Found Call XXX-XXXX' label. Their trash . . . my treasure.


Barbara said...

Oh John, that's mine, I've been looking all over for it!

Pippa said...

Wow, how very inspiring! Learning from the people and things we serendipitously encounter every day, that is what makes life so worthwhile!


john.p said...

Well, Barbara, you can come pick it up. :) I think that would be the flight of the century if that were true, though. A weather balloon with a typical loft time of 90 minutes to go from Northern California to northeast Kansas in one hop!

Hovawart said...

Have You Found a Radiosonde?
Launched from the ground, radiosondes are meteorological devices that are used to measure
temperature, humidity, pressure, wind speed and direction in the upper atmosphere. A balloon filled
with hydrogen or helium gas carries the radiosonde into the upper atmosphere. When the radiosonde
reaches an altitude of approximately 30 km, the balloon bursts and the radiosonde falls back to Earth
along with its string, spool and burst balloon.
During the radiosonde’s flight, it constantly transmits atmospheric temperature, humidity and pressure
data to automated receiving ground equipment. This equipment, called a sounding system, processes
and converts the data into meteorological weather messages that are sent to the global weather network.
Ozone and radioactivity in the upper atmosphere can also be measured.
If you find a Vaisala radiosonde, it poses no danger to you. It is also made of materials that are benign
in the natural environment.
What to do if you find a Vaisala radiosonde
· If there are instructions on the radiosonde cover for returning the device, please follow them.
· If there are no instructions for returning the device and you don’t want to keep it, please dispose of
it by following your country’s guidelines for the disposal of electrical waste.
· If you want to keep the radiosonde, remove the battery and dispose of it in an approved receptacle
for used batteries.
If you want more information on Vaisala radiosondes, please contact:

simplyred said...

I never tire of looking at your wondeful journal entries and drawings. You've gone so far beyond the original journal class and your work is just such an inspiration. Thanks for sharing your world with us.

Gypsy Gold Studio

Deborah said...

Wow, what a great find. That would be hanging in my studio right now, that is, if I had a pasture next door where I could find cool treasures. Great sketch and I love, love, love your photography. Awesome!

john.p said...

Hovawart - Yes, it's a Radiosonde. In my web searches and my phone call to my local National Weather Service station I have learned everything you summarized. It's quite the data gathering process! The local NWS staff said I can keep it, too. They have a GPS version coming out in a couple months so they don't need to refurbish this one. Thanks for the details.

Margaret Ann said...

Wow! I agree..treasure for sure...Way cool! :)