Floating mystery near port solved

An "unidentified floating object" near Port Otago yesterday turned out to be a Niwa weather balloon.

Police were called on Wednesday after someone spotted the brown cardboard box, bound with white insulation tape, floating label-down with wires and cables protruding, police posted on social media.

It also had a large electronic box on the side.

Once retrieved, it was discovered it was a Niwa atmospheric device.

Such devices provide scientific measurements for Niwa and are regularly launched from a Central Otago site.

They can travel up to 30km into the atmosphere, before their life balloons pop and they return to Earth on a parachute.

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