This Dec. 31, 2012 photo, provided by John Flaig via The Kokomo Tribune, shows an image taken from a high-altitude weather balloon during a four-and-a-half hour 178 mile flight between Mendota, Ill., and Lincoln, Ind.
The Tribune reports that the weather balloon traveled more than 18 miles above the Earth.
Flaig, a 38-year-old computer programmer from Milwaukee, Wis., launched the balloon at around 6 a.m. on a frigidly cold Sunday from a public park in Mendota, Ill. He said he first got interested in near-space photography after watching videos of similar weather-balloon launches on YouTube.
Credit: AP Photo/John Flaig via Kokomo Tribune