Timelapse: Milky Way from the Dakotas

Article written: 7 Jun , 2011
Updated: 18 Jan , 2016

Growing up in the Dakotas, I can attest to the dark skies that grace the northern plains. However, there is also cold weather (even in the spring) and — at times — almost unbelievably windy conditions. But that didn’t stop videographer Randy Halverson from shooting this magnificent timelapse video of the Milky Way. And in fact, his low shots enhance the beauty of the landscape and sky. “There were very few nights, when I could shoot, that were perfectly clear, and often the wind was blowing 25mph +,” Halverson said. “That made it hard to get the shots I wanted. I kept most of the shots low to the ground, so the wind wouldn’t catch the setup and cause camera shake, or blow it over.”

Ten seconds of the video is about 2 hours 20 minutes in real time. Randy tells us he has been doing astro timelapse for only about 16 months, but shooting other types of video since the mid 90’s. See more of his marvelous work at his Dakotalapse website.

Nancy Atkinson is currently Universe Today’s Contributing Editor. Previously she served as UT’s Senior Editor and lead writer, and has worked with Astronomy Cast and 365 Days of Astronomy. Nancy is the author of the new book “Incredible Stories from Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos.” She is also a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

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10 Responses

  1. Anonymous says

    Stunning, breathtaking photography. Seeing the Milky Way under really dark skies is unforgettable, just like seeing it for the very first time.

  2. Anonymous says

    How much can you see that with your own eyes?
    I have never had a chance to see it, only once a tiny glimps of something that might not be a cloud.

  3. Andrew Jaremko says

    Wonderful. Thank you Randy! There’s a bonus for me in this one – I love the windmill spinning and being translucent – then stopping dead at the 30 second mark. I’m following various energy blogs and it’s an example of the wind’s intermittency.

  4. Olaf, if you are in the right place, and you stay out long enough for your eyes to adjust, what you will see will blow you away. It will give a sense of what has been lost because of light pollution. One of the best places to see the Milky Way is Natural Bridges National Monument in Utah.

  5. Would be great to have a Time ~ lapse of the Auroras too !

  6. Wonderful, incredible; the sky directly on my head!! Thank you for your great work.

  7. Oh, Mother-Father-Creator! I long for this face! My primal heart is deeply moved.
    Kat – when you’re there, don’t forget to look up!

  8. Oh, Mother-Father-Creator! I long for this face! My primal heart is deeply moved.
    Kat – when you’re there, don’t forget to look up!

  9. Randy, wow! found your site while at DMNS this am and shared with 175 childred most never had had chance to see this marvel overhead as they were inner city kids. Thank you for the wild-eyed amazement I got to share with them.

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