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"Results of the Stratosphere Flight of Explorer II" were outlined with moving pictures and slides before an interested audience at the Institute of Geographical Exploration last night by Major Albert W. Stevens who with Captain Anderson over a year ago reached the highest altitude yet attained by man.
Declaring his intention of making another ascent soon, Major Stevens, world's greatest expert on aerial photography and guest lecturer of the University, stated that with a new balloon of volume five million cubic feet he believed a new height of 90,000 feet would be set against the present mark of 72,395.
The army officer gave as definition of "stratosphere" the "region where temperature ceases to fall and becomes substantially constant". Laying emphasis on the failure to penetrate beyond a transition zone of light and heavy atmosphere, he expressed a conviction that with the accessibility to a greater elevation a more distinct transformation would be evident. Results of the recent flight yielded valuable specimens of ozone, a high oxygen layer which deflects ultraviolet rays, and revealed the presence of living spores and bacteria at the highest altitudes.
Outstanding phenomenon of the ascent was the thick and phosphorescent appearance of the balloon ropes at greater elevations. This, Major Stevens explained, was caused by escape of sea level air and water vapor from the fibers of the rigging, at a pressure one-fifth of normal, which formed a foggy cloud around each rope.
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