Instrument test project films images of Earth’s curvature

Physics students from the University of Leicester have captured breathtaking images of the Earth’s stratosphere using a high altitude weather balloon.  
The unmanned balloon and sensor payload reached an altitude of 23.6km, putting it at 1.7 times the altitude ceiling of a 747 airliner.
In conditions close to a vacuum with ambient temperatures around -56ºC the students’ payload filmed the cloud tops and the curvature of the Earth. The payload then descended quickly to Earth reaching a maximum speed of over 100mph.  The launch took place in December near Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, and the payload was recovered in Warwickshire.  
As well as producing photographs and video, this flight tested electronic control systems for future pollution monitoring flights and advanced navigational systems.