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N.S. space club’s weather balloon made abstract art as it descended

A painting is seen in this handout photo. A space club in Annapolis Royal, N.S., launched a weather balloon on Saturday that created an abstract painting on an enclosed canvas as it returned to earth. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Derick Smith

A space club in Annapolis Royal, N.S., launched a weather balloon on Saturday that created an abstract painting on an enclosed canvas as it returned to earth.

Derick Smith, a teacher at Annapolis West Education Centre who oversees the club, says it’s an example of how physics and art can come together.

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The balloon was filled with helium and expanded to three times its size as it ascended, eventually exploding at about 32.8 kilometres above the earth.

At that point, a styrofoam capsule with a parachute attached drifted back down to earth, landing about 13 kilometres away, near Lamb’s Lake, Annapolis County.

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The capsule contained an interior balloon that burst and showered acrylic paints on the canvas.

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The Annapolis Royal Space Agency – a group made up of Smith’s students and community members – are behind the project, now in its fourth year.

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