Saturday science subject: The final frontier

— 1:51 PM on March 21, 2009

Who needs expensive equipment to take photos of Earth from space? As reports, A group of Spanish high school students and their teacher managed to do it using a $150 digital camera, an inexpensive helium balloon, and a good dose of ingenuity.

A photo from the home-brewed weather balloon. Source: Meteotek.

The Meteotek team from the IES La Bisbal school in Spain got the camera 30,677 m (100,646 feet) above ground level. Sharing the ride was some meteorological equipment and a GPS sensor, which allowed the students to track the contraption's journey using Google Earth.

Check out the Meteotek08 website for a first-hand account of the project and, of course, a full photo gallery of the weather balloon's ascent. The descriptions are in Catalan, but Google Translate does a decent job of turning that into mostly understandable English.

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