# Red Bull Stratos and its giantic balloon

Hi,
we all know that helium balloon raises up which makes it such a fun object, most things in every day life do not do that. This attribute can be used to raise objects or even humans quite high, but at one point you get a problem, the atmosphere is less and less dense.

Red Bull Stratos was a project involving helium filled balloon and a capsule with human (Felix Baumgartner). In the year 2012 it raised up to almost 40 kilometers and then the skydiver jumped down. He reached supersonic speeds (faster than sound: 1234 km/h).

In my physics class we talked mostly about the balloon because of what I mentioned in the first paragraph. 40 kilometers is very high and the pressure there is only about 0.497325257421 Pa which is basically vacuum since the atmospheric pressure is 100 000 Pa. (I used the barometric equation)

Because of this, the balloon can not rise so high in thinner air even though the helium is lighter than air. There is so little of it that it does not provide the necessary lift and the balloon has to be huge. In this case it had 9 144 000 cubic meters! Thats a huge thing. The problem of course was that it was not lifting up only one human but the capsule with all equipment weighted 1315 kilograms and the material of the balloon had 1681 kilograms[0].

The whole project was kind of supposed to be for science and finding out how body reacts to high speeds and for further development of pressurized suits[1]. At the same time there was a lot of helium used which was then of course lost. Beware because helium is on the list of endangered elements!

Dragallur

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[0]The helium also has to be lifting itself.

[1]At about 18 kilometers the pressure is so low that the water in human body starts to evaporate (not all because blood is enclosed but for example saliva). I wrote about that in this other post. To survive you need to be in a suit.

Logo source: By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37329038

# How it blows

Hi,
tommorow I am writing test on geography, it will be on pedosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere and since I forgot to learn atmosphere I decided that I will make post about winds and how air circulates on Earth so I can remember it.

The most important thing is that air wants to go from area of high pressure to area with low pressure, this is practicly the key thing in weather forecast because wind also takes rainfall with it and it is key when forming storms.

So it is important to know where are those areas of high and low pressure.

Low pressure areas create when there is warm air which expands thus lowering the pressure and then it rises. This of course happens on equator so there is low pressure always moving just a little bit north and south during year as the angle towards Sun changes.

On poles on the other side is high pressure because cold air falls down and its density increases because it is heavy.

Whole process is not so simple there is no gradient between equator and poles because there are lot other things that change this.

Key picture of winds on Earth

The picture above shows how air travels on Earth, I will start with the area of equator. So there is low pressure because of hot air. It raises and as anti trade wind (in Czech we call it anti-pasát) it goes north or south because the air is pushed by the new air coming. At about 40° the air loses all its humidity and temperature so it goes down. Because it is so dry at those areas deserts tend to create. This is area of high pressure compared to equator so the air goes south as trade wind. It is called like this because it helped sailors when they wanted to trade something. Around equator those winds are weaker and weaker and the air goes up because it is warmer. This area is called doldrums. It is famous for leaving boats powered by wind for weeks on same place, sometimes even killing whole crews since they can not move without wind.

This process described above is called Hadley cell.

Same thing happens around poles except the high pressure area is around poles so winds blow from there. This for example creates what is called tornado valley which is area in USA where hot air from south and cold air from Canada meet to create winds moving spiraly on small area: tornadoes.

It gets much more complicated on what is called Ferrel’s cell which is area between Hadley and Polar cell. Here lot of difference is also made by area above oceans and above land.

Because of Coriolis effect (Earth rotating), trade winds are turned towards west because of their inertia, Earth rotates from west to east.

Dragallur

Check out those two video for coriolis effect and how water turns in toilet: