We've all seen the photographs of Earth taken by satellites, by NASA during shuttle missions, and even by the astronauts on the International Space Station. With these pictures, we can see the curvature of the Earth, the blue band containing our atmosphere, the shapes of continents, mountain ranges, and the vastness of our oceans. The missions whereby these photographs are taken cost millions of dollars and require thousands of people. Then there are the do-it-yourself types, driven by curiousity and creativity who also accomplish pretty amazing things, like attaching a digital camera to a weather balloon and launching it 20 miles above the ground.
Robert Harrison, a computer engineer from Highburton, West Yorkshire in the U.K., reprogrammed a point-and-shoot digital camera to take a picture every five minutes and, after twenty launches since starting in 2008, has amassed a pretty amazing collection of photographs.
What goes up must come down, but not necessarily back to where it was sent from. To retreive the camera and photographs, all of the flights are tracked on the ground using a GPS device also attached to the balloon.
As the camera returns to Earth, it snaps views of the U.K. countryside.
All photographs belong to Robert Harrison and are used by permission.