Thursday, May 02, 2013

Ice Nucleation As A Narrative

On April 20th in the Sierra Nevada mountains near Bishop, California, a group of high school students launched a "space weather balloon" into the stratosphere. Their goal is to monitor the effects of solar flares on Earth's atmosphere. ... The silver capsule, built by Mihai Ciustea of Sammamish WA and launched by the Earth to Sky team of Bishop CA, is bristling with sensors to measure, e.g., ozone, pressure, humidity, acceleration and other variables of interest. The capsule travels to 125,000 feet--well inside Earth's ozone layer--and lingers there for approximately two hours before parachuting back to Earth with the data. The April 20th launch was a test flight to measure baseline levels when solar activity is relatively low.

The capsule also serves another purpose: It is a bacteria collector. A door at the bottom of the capsule can open, guiding air into a filter designed to capture microbes during the flight. Mihai Ciustea hopes to find ice-nucleating bacteria and other lifeforms living high above Earth's surface. Stay tuned for updates about this mission!

To the best of my conscious memory
I’ve never been kidnapped by aliens.

But I’ve never been interrogated
under hypnosis about the topic.

I don’t know what my subconscious might hide.

I’d guess aliens don’t want to take me
because they can just look at me and know
if they kidnapped me for experiments
I probably wouldn’t want to come back
and I’d wake up wherever they took me
and I’d pester them: “What’s this? What’s this for?
You’d be better off doing it like this.”

When scientists kidnap bacteria
from the upper atmosphere to study
ice nucleation at the edge of space
they never put back the bacteria
where their high altitude balloons found them.

That works for me. I mean, with aliens.

I mean, with me putting together words
substituting for ice nucleation.

I mean, bacteria, aliens, us.

Creatures who do things should stick together.

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