What happens to balloons that float off into space?

Posted: 5 May 2017

After helium filled balloons escape, or are released, they rise up into the atmosphere at around two metres per second. They will rise to about 28,000 feet (8.5 kilometres) in about 90 minutes. The pressure and temperature both drop as the altitude increases; the temperature at this height is a very cool minus 40°C.

By now the balloon has reached its elastic limits and, at about 700% of its original un-inflated size, it bursts. The shatter that happens in these conditions is referred to as a “brittle fracture.” This shattering effect is similar to the smashing of glass, and the balloon splinters into many tiny pieces, about the size of a 5- or 10-cent piece, and then floats back to the ground, spreading over a large area.

Organic break down of these “shattered” balloons happens at a much faster rate than a whole latex balloon, especially one that has been thrown into the rubbish and disposed of as landfill.

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APPA
Event Cinemas
David Jones
Movie World
Dominos
Woolworths
Sea World Resort
Australian Outback Spectacular
Target
Goodlife Health Clubs
Bunnings Warehouse
Westpac
Subaru
Coles
Harvey Norman
Coca Cola
Hungry Jacks
Sea World
Motorama
Coffee Club
Paradise Country
Mercedes Benz
Wet n Wild - Gold Coast
Lorna Jane
Big W