Space is black--and so is this pearl. On July 22, 2021, the students of Earth to Sky Calculus launched the Midnight Pearl to the stratosphere onboard a cosmic ray research balloon. At the apex of the flight it floated 96,785 feet above the Sierra Nevada mountains of central California.
You can have it for $179.95--earrings included! Matching pearl earrings flew inside the payload among the cosmic ray sensors. Each pearl is wrapped in a sterling silver twist, and comes with a greeting card showing the jewelry in flight.
After the balloon exploded, the payload parachuted back to Earth, landing in the rugged Benton Range just east of the world-famous Milky Way Meadows dark-sky astronomy campground. The pearls had a wild ride, and the students got great data for their cosmic ray monitoring program.
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