Saturday 4 February 2012: Moon from Near Space
This was taken at an altitude of about 27km, by a camera attached to a weather balloon. The camera was inside an insulated container with a radio tracker and video camera, attached to a parachute for safe descent and then to a large ballon inflated to approx 1.5m diameter. As the balloon ascends the air gets thinner so the balloon expands, eventually bursting at (in this case) around 7 metres diameter.
I launched the balloon from near home in Berkshire, and followed it by car down to the coast near Brighton. I hoped for a dry landing but we didn't have quite enough helium for the ideal flight, meaning that it flew a bit further south than ideal. It went about 2km out to sea before turning in the lower winds to come back towards the coast, finally landing about 500m from the shore. Fortunately this happened just after low tide, and between them the incoming tide and the strong wind the payload washed up nearly 2 hours later. We tracked the entire flight, and float, from our car so we knew where it was at all times, and even had time to go and get some fish & chips while we waited!
More info and photos at my blog