What a crazy last few days! We had quite a blow come though and there were issues at the site leading to a power outage. We have had winds leading to white outs and then calm days with above zero temperatures. We consider those days a heat wave up here 😉

Windy and cold conditions a few days ago. It was not pleasant being outside when I had to fix my inlets.

This is when it is really blowing snow, time to go inside

Your breath turns to ice on your clothing VERY quickly when temperatures are really low. It was near -40 degrees with the wind chill this day.

Ahi! Alas, I was able to warm up with some ahi tuna for dinner 🙂

With the recent power outages, I was able to check out how my samplers were doing. Looks like I was able to collect a bunch of particles before the outage. Aerosol particles get sucked into the sampler with a powerful vacuum pump. Once they enter the sampler, they impact on the surfaces of these discs that rotate slowly over time. The way the particles stick to the discs is I spray them with a solution that dries and becomes sticky. That way, the aerosols stick to the surface instead of bounce off the disc, otherwise I would not have any samples!

Here I am spraying the discs that rotate very slowly over time and collect aerosols. The stuff I am spraying dries, but leaves a sticky residue that the aerosols adhere to.

It is hard to see, but that faint white smudge on the disc is a bunch of aerosols that impacted on the disc. This sample was collected for 2 days.

Today, the site technicians let me launch one of their routine weather balloons, pretty cool! Luckily, power is back on and my samplers are up and running, working hard at collecting aerosols. Even with all these challenges, it is exciting to research in the Arctic 🙂

Ready…set…

…go!

6 comments on “Power on? Check. Balloon launch? Check. Tuna for dinner? Check.

  • Brrrr! Almost looks like you have white hair….frozen hair for sure! Your dinner looks delish! Awesome job Skyping with Aunt Linda’s students today! I love seeing how passionate you are with your scientific research & sharing this with others! Stay warm & safe!! Love you!!

    • Haha, it did freeze from my breath. And yes, the dinners have been absolutely amazing, in addition to all the desserts. That is why I have been hitting the gym for at least an hour a day 😉 Thanks Mom & Dad, it was fun Skyping with them! I hope I inspired a bunch of burgeoning scientists. Love ya too!

  • Dr. Jessie, From my morning Science class:
    What do the balloons measure? Evan
    What are the balloons for? Maddie
    Can you stop posting pictures of the food? It looks really, really awesome! Taylor
    Scientists are awesome. I want to see pictures of desserts. Quin

    • Hi AM science class! It was fun Skyping with you all last week 🙂

      Evan and Maddie, the balloons have sensors attached to them that measure temperature, humidity, and pressure every 1 second it ascends into the atmosphere. The sensors are in a box that is so small, it fits in your one hand. The balloon with the sensors attached goes all the way up to the stratosphere and beyond, where it eventually pops and is lost. The data that are collected from the sensors are sent down in real time and are used to understand the structure of the atmosphere, and even used in weather and climate models. The weather in the upper atmosphere can be very different from what is on the ground, but can significantly affect the weather on the ground, so we want to be able to measure that up high.

      Taylor, haha! I am leaving tomorrow so I’ll try to not post any more food photos 😉

      Quin, glad you think so, thanks! Ok, maybe I will post one last dessert photo of my favorite cupcakes they make. Sorry Taylor, last one!!

  • From my afternoon class:
    Do you feel like it looks like Hoth? Vegas
    I had fun the day we Skyped. Maddie
    Thank you for answering our good questions. Layla
    Do you know how many aerosol particles you collected yet? Gabe
    On a scale of 1-10 how frozen are you? Adrian
    How many animals have you seen? Cole
    Did you think the weather balloon was going to be bigger? Vegas
    How fun was it to launch the weather balloon? Maddie

    • Howdy PM science class! I had a great time Skyping with you all last week!

      Vegas, haha coincidentally, I posted a video of the winds and my friend commented on that! It does look and feel like Hoth, now I just need to find a caribou and pretend it is a tauntaun 😉

      Maddie, I had fun too! You guys asked some excellent questions!

      Layla, you are very welcome! I agree, they were very good questions.

      Gabe, I won’t know the actual number yet until I run the analysis back in lab, but I am guessing it is thousands and thousands of them.

      Adrian, today, I am at a 9 :O The temperatures dropped and the winds are stronger again, brrrrrrr.

      Cole, I have only seen one fox and a few crows. Most of the animals are trying to keep warm like us this time of year and are in hiding. I hope to come back to this site next summer and that is when all the animals come out!

      Vegas, good question. As the balloon goes up into the atmosphere, it is exposed to lower pressures. Because the helium was filled at the surface pressure (at a higher pressure), the helium gas expands as the balloon goes up. So, the balloon does in fact get bigger until it eventually pops!

      Maddie, it was pretty fun 🙂 It was cool to watch it go up REALLY high until it is so high is disappears!

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