Hello, Earth! Can you believe that this photo was taken by a man who attached a digital camera to a balloon? Madness.
There’s actually not too much involved here. You take a helium-filled, high-altitude balloon, strap a digital camera to it, and off you go. The camera goes up (that’s 22 miles above the surface of the planet), takes a photo every five minutes, then it comes floating down to Earth on a parachute. A simple GPS, not too different from the one in your car right now, gives the location of the camera when it comes back down.
It’s the space-photography equivalent of macaroni glued to construction paper.
Total cost? Around $750. That’s less than what I spent to build the PC I’m writing this post with. Clearly Robert Harrison, the UK chap who put all of this together, is cooler than I’ll ever be.