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The Black Rock Playa from ~15 miles up

Image taken by high-altitude balloon about 3 weeks before Burning Man 2007. Black Rock City (at least what part was constructed) is barely evident in the large size (more clear in the full-size original).

 

We used a camera carried by a high-altitude scientific balloon flown over Northern Nevada by students and faculty at the University of Nevada, Reno. At the time of this photo, the balloon was located a little south of the Gerlach area of the Black Rock playa. The camera is looking North/Northeast over the playa from high above. You can see quite far on a clear day from 20 miles up!

 

Notice that the sky appears black at this altitude, and that you can make out the thin layer of atmosphere coating the limb of the Earth. There is little atmosphere above this, so the sunlight isn't being scattered to create the blue sky.

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Taken on August 18, 2007