Handcrafted by artist Dana Wilcher, this unique Christmas ornament has touched space. On Nov. 2, 2017, the students of Earth to Sky Calculus launched a space weather balloon to the stratosphere. These kids do science, and the payload of their balloon carried an array of cosmic ray sensors to measure radiation coming from deep space. A basket of Dana's ornaments went along for the ride. Dana is a longtime member of Earth to Sky and each year she creates a batch of "Space Ornaments" to help raise funds for the student ballooning program. During the 2.5 hour flight, the ornament experienced temperatures as low as -67 C and cosmic ray dose rates 100x Earth-normal. After the balloon exploded 107,342 feet above the Sierra Nevada mountains of central California, this work of art parachuted back to Earth, landing in the desert near Silver Peak, Nevada.
Each ornament comes with a unique gift card showing the work of art floating at the top of Earth's atmosphere. The interior of the card tells the story of the flight and confirms that the ornament has been to the edge of space and back again. It *also* comes with a hanging mini-photo of the ornament in the stratosphere. Hang it on your tree to impress holiday visitors!