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Atmosphere Observation

History, Weather Balloons, Rockets And Aircraft, Weather Satellites, Atmospheric CompositionKites

The term weather observation refers to all of the equipment and techniques used to study the properties of the atmosphere. These include such well-known instruments as the thermometer and barometer as well as less familiar devices such as the radiosonde and devices for detecting the presence of trace gases in the atmosphere.


One of the first means developed for raising scientific instruments to higher altitudes was the kite. In one of the most famous kite experiments of this kind, Benjamin Franklin used a kite in 1752 to discover that lightning was nothing other than a form of electricity. Within a short period of time, kites were being used by other scientists to carry recording thermometers into the atmosphere, where they could read temperatures at various altitudes.


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