NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – You’ve probably heard of water balloons and weather balloons, but have you heard of high-altitude research balloons? NewSpace Nexus’ fun fact is that just one month ago, on September 7, a high-altitude research balloon was launched from the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility in Fort Sumner.

These balloons are released by NASA and are often visible to the naked eye from central New Mexico, especially in the afternoon and early evening hours. The balloons are used to help scientists learn more about weather patterns.

Anyone looking to spot one of these balloons should avoid looking directly at the sun, as that may cause permanent eye damage. For those who don’t own a telescope, binoculars offer a fairly good view of the balloons.