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Here’s a really unique video from one of our favorite astrophotographers, Thierry Legault. Thierry sent us a full HD time-lapse of the full sky during one full night (August 7-8) over the Pic-du-Midi Observatory in the French Pyrenees. At 2,877 meters in altitude, this is the highest observatory in France. The video is taken with a fisheye lens, and so the view creates what appears to be a tiny little world (Planet Pic-du-Midi, perhaps?). Visible are Saturn and Mars, then the Moon, Jupiter and Venus. And a passage of the ISS and an Iridium flare complete the planet-like scene. “The rotation of the sky around Polaris is easily noticeable,” Thierry wrote to Universe Today, “as well as the movement of circumpolar constellations such as Big Dipper. The main dome is the 1-meter telescope, I was there with three friends to learn how to use this telescope for future planetary missions. This telescope was used in the 60′s to prepare the Apollo lunar missions because of the quality of its optics and the very good seeing of this site.”
The Pic-du-Midi Observatory has to be one of the most picturesque places in astronomy. You can see a great view of it on Astronomy Picture of the Day. The observatory has three domes that house a 0.6 meter telescope reserved for amateur astronomers, and a Sun-watching telescope called CLIMSO, along with the 1 meter telescope.
Thanks to Thierry for sharing this exceptional video, and as always, check out more of Thierry’s work at his website.