PHOENIX - Valley residents observed something unusual drifting slowly in the skies over Phoenix early Saturday evening.
Inquiries to ABC15 about the mysterious object led weather anchor Randy Kollins to investigate with the National Weather Service, who confirmed that a research balloon had been launched from Fort Sumner in eastern New Mexico around 7:30 a.m.
Fort Sumner is the spring and fall home of NASA's Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility .
The balloon carries instruments that gather atmospheric information, and is launched once a year by the research facility.
The balloon landed west of the Valley later in the evening, you can see the its full flight path here .
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Did You Hear?
An arrest warrant has been issued for supposedly-dead rapper Tim Dog, who is accused of faking his death to avoid paying a woman $19,000.
Charles Ramsey, who helped rescue the three Cleveland women held captive by Ariel Castro, will get free McDonald's from his local fast food favorite for the next year, a McDonald's spokeswoman said.
A group of researchers has developed a map that shows how discriminatory a given county is based on the number of insulting tweets sent from that area.
More Central Phoenix News
A Democratic women's leadership group has named former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords its Woman of the Year.