Soaring Expectations! Help Record a Total Solar Eclipse
A new Kickstarter campaign aims to launch a balloon that would take the first-ever spherical video of a solar eclipse from the stratosphere
Credit: Zero 2 Infinity

"We are about to…bloon" is part of a campaign request for dollars to help record the first-ever spherical video of an eclipse from the stratosphere.

On March 20, 2015 there will be a total solar eclipse. A unique feature of this event is that the Moon's shadow will sweep over the North Pole – something that occurs once every 500,000 years or so, according to organizers of the balloon project.

"This is our last chance to capture the shadow of the moon over the northern ice cap before it melts," say the coordinators of the effort, Zero 2 Infinity based in Spain.

On the day of the eclipse, when the moon will obscure the sun, the stars and the planets will become visible and the shadow of the moon will be seen going over the Earth. The intent of the project is to record this with a spherical camera that will cover a 360 degree angle.

The visibility of the eclipse, from the only populated areas on the ground, is from Svalbard and the Faroe Islands.

A zero-emissions stratospheric balloon will carry GoPro cameras mounted on a rig to record a 360 degree spherical video at an altitude where the view of the Earth and the Sun is very similar to what astronauts experience from the International Space Station.

On the ground participants will receive the video feed into tablet or smart phone and be able to feel as if those taking part were in space – looking out their "window" to see the whole world below.

Want to take part?

The organizers have launched an indiegogo crowdfunding campaign at: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/bloon-360view-of-a-total-solar-eclipse-from-space

Also, check out this near-space eclipse project via Vimeo at: https://vimeo.com/120465177

Leonard David has been reporting on the space industry for more than five decades. He is former director of research for the National Commission on Space and is co-author of Buzz Aldrin's 2013 book "Mission to Mars – My Vision for Space Exploration" published by National Geographic with a new updated paperback version to be released this May. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+.