Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS

NOVA menu (see bottom of page for text links)

NOVA Online
Balloon Race Around The World menu (see bottom of page for text links)


Photo of long-distance balloon in flight

Floating and Sinking

Imagine you're at a hot air balloon event. The balloonists are busy preparing for flight. They spread out the enormous balloons on the grass and check all the lines. The talk is all about today's temperature, wind speed, and direction. Some of the balloonists have turned on their gas burners and point them into the open end of the balloon. You tilt your head back to watch them lift off the ground and fill the sky with a rainbow of colors.

They're floating away. Floating away? But how? Did you ever wonder why hot air balloons float?

You may already have some ideas. Think about them and then choose one of the options below that seems closest to why you think balloons float.

I think it's because of . . .



Global Contenders '97/'98 | Expedition '96/'97 | Fossett | Virtual Flight
Science of Ballooning | Teacher's Guide | Resources | Transcript | Balloon Home

Editor's Picks | Previous Sites | Join Us/E-mail | TV/Web Schedule
About NOVA | Teachers | Site Map | Shop | Jobs | Search | To print
PBS Online | NOVA Online | WGBH

© | Updated October 2000

Support provided by

For new content
visit the redesigned
NOVA site