Stunning, Majestic New Timelapse from King’s Canyon and Sequoia National Parks

by Nancy Atkinson on August 4, 2014

A meteor streaks through the sky over Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks in California. Credit and copyright: Gavin Heffernan/Sunchaser Pictures.

A meteor streaks through the sky over Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks in California. Credit and copyright: Gavin Heffernan/Sunchaser Pictures.

Shooting the night sky from an area filled with canyons and towering trees might sound like a challenge, but Gavin Heffernan and his crew at Sunchaser Pictures have “majestically” succeeded with this new timelapse from Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks in California. They spent three days and two nights around the summer solstice, covering the 1,353 square miles of the two parks. They captured gorgeous night sky views, star trails, bright meteor streaks, and satellite passes — all framed by the magnificent landscape of the area.

“It was undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen, with incredible canyons, mountains, and vistas out of a fantasy novel,” Gavin told UT via email. “Far removed from any light pollution, the skies were equally stunning, with some epic milky ways, star trails, and the brightest meteor picture I’ve ever captured.” Image above — and see the new timelapse video below, with the meteor trails coming at 1:41 & 2:26:

Gavin said most night shots were captured with 25 second exposures on two Canon EOS 6D’s with a variety of wide, fast lenses, including a 24mm f1/4 and 28mm f1/8. The stunning star trails effect is created by tracing rotations of the Earth’s axis, using long exposures.

Star trails at dawn just as the Sun rises above the mountains in Kings Canyon. Credit and copyright: Gavin Heffernan.

Star trails at dawn just as the Sun rises above the mountains in Kings Canyon. Credit and copyright: Gavin Heffernan.

Find out more about this video on Vimeo and you can watch a “behind the scenes” video of what it took to make this video — including an encounter with a brown bear! — here.

KINGS from Sunchaser Pictures on Vimeo.

About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

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