I think we all do sometimes. It’s easy to take for granted. The Sun is that glowing thing that rises in the morning and sets in the evening that we don’t generally pay attention to as we go about our day. However, there are these rare moments when we’re reminded that the Sun is truly a STAR – a titanic living sphere of hydrogen smashing plasma a million times the volume of Earth. One of those rare moments for me was standing in the shadow of the 2017 solar eclipse. We had driven down from Vancouver to Madras, Oregon to watch this astronomical freak of nature. A moon hundreds of times smaller than the Sun, but hundreds of times closer, covers the face of the Sun for the majesty of a STAR to be revealed; the fiery maelstrom of the Sun’s atmosphere visible to the naked eye.
The “stars” of a new 3-minute timelapse are some very unique star trails and a glowing fireball that is actually a giant ‘honey moon‘ — the full Moon in June. Gavin Heffernan from Sunchaser Pictures and Harun Mehmedinovic from Bloodhoney.com teamed up for this video, filming in gorgeous mountain locations in the Southwestern US, showcasing gathering storm clouds and stunning night sky scenes.
At about 1:50 in the video, you’ll see a unique “split” star trail effect, where it looks like the trails are cascading down the sides of a mountain. At 2:02, the Moon appears to burn through the sky like a meteor.
See imagery from the footage below:
This video is part of the Skyglow Project, which is an initiative to protect the night skies and raise awareness of the light pollution and its dangers. It was produced in association with BBC Earth.
Interestingly, Heffernan said some of the footage seen here was also featured this summer by The Rolling Stones in their Zip Code Stadium Tour, after Mick Jagger saw some of their previous timelapse videos.
The footage was shot in Monument Valley, Arizona, Trona Pinnacles, California, and Red Rock Canyon, California.
Thanks to Gavin Heffernan for continuing to share his wonderful work!
The Academy Award winning film “Birdman” used what’s called tracking shot to create the sense of a seamless one-shot film. A new timelapse created from imagery captured by astronauts on the International Space Station uses the same technique — which has not been used in previous ISS timelapses — with stunning results. Additionally, the footage is very recent, from January and February 2015. It was compiled by Phil Selmes.
Sandstone formations can be amazing, and if you’ve ever seen or heard about the legendary and hard-to-get-to “Wave” formation in Arizona, you’ll agree it would be a stunning location for a night sky photography shoot. Our friend and timelapse guru Gavin Heffernan was commissioned by the BBC to shoot a timelapse video from this location, and it is absolutely stunning.
“As far as I know, this is the first astrophotography timelapse ever filmed at this amazing location,” Gavin told us via email. “We had seen many beautiful night pictures taken there but no actual timelapses, so we went for it!”
Enjoy the video above, as well a some imagery, below:
This is a video where star trails and rock trails collide! It was assembled from over 10,000 stills snagged on two grueling trips. Check out more of Gavin’s work at his Sunchaser Pictures website.
We’ve featured several timelapse compilations of footage and imagery taken from the International Space Station (like here, here and here) but this one put together by Phil Selmes is great in that it also includes footage *of* the ISS, as shot by the astronauts on the space shuttle as well as actual space to ground audio communications. Phil said he included the audio clips “to remind the audience of the humanity that inhabits the space station.”
There is just something about these videos from the ISS that speaks to your soul. Phil told Universe Today that while putting this together, he saw “how different our world looks just 370kms above our heads. I didn’t see politics, races, borders, countries, religions or differences,” he said via email. “I saw one planet, one world, one incredibly beautiful miracle in the absolute vastness of the universe. It gave me some perspective, ironically it brought me ‘back to earth.’”
Have you ever sat outside on a starry night and just watched the stars move slowly above you? Here’s a video that shows what it is like to sit back on a spaceship and gaze at the ever-changing sky above.
This timelapse was compiled from recent images taken from the International Space Station. Hugh Carrick-Allan, a 3D Animator/VFX artist living in Sydney Australia used a sequence of 52 images posted on the NASA Crew Earth Observation website. The video also features the Aurora Australis and and some random satellites.
He also created the beautiful image below by combining all 52 the images.
“I used DeepSkyStacker to stack the images, I used PixInsight for some heavy noise reduction on the foreground, and then I combined and tweaked everything in Photoshop,” Carrick-Allan wrote on his website.
Holy moly! Take a look at this new 4K timelapse video from ESA created from imagery taken by astronaut Alexander Gerst. Before you watch, however, you might want to change your video viewing setting to as high as they can go.
The imagery was taken at a resolution of 4256 x 2832 pixels at a rate of one every second. ESA said the high resolution allowed their production team to create a 3840 x 2160 pixel movie, also known as Ultra HD or 4K.
Playing these sequences at 25 frames per second, the film runs 25 times faster than it looks for the astronauts in space. They also did some nice effects creating trails from from stars and lights from cities on Earth for that “hyper-space” look. There’s a great sequence starting at about :55 of the Orbital Cygnus capsule being unberthed from the ISS and then it zooms away from the station.
Wow! This video brought tears to my eyes because of its sheer beauty. Our friend and frequent astrophoto contributor César Cantu fulfilled a lifelong dream this past month of taking a trip through the southwestern of the United States, to “see and feel the shocking nature reflected in the Grand Canyon, in the Arches National Park and in the terrible atmosphere of Death Valley,” he told us via email.
Although César produced this video entirely on his own, the US Park Service and the states in the US Southwest couldn’t have a better promotional video! It is simply stunning, showing both the splendid landscapes during the day and the magnificent starscapes at night.
He drove from his native Mexico to the US Southwest, carrying several cameras to capture multiples landscapes, “to show different characteristics from the nature of our planet.”
“I drove just over 7,000 miles in 32 days and I visited all these extraordinary places,” César said. “I believe that nature, humanity and society, have found support and positive, creative, respectful and viable response from the National Park Service of the United States of America.”
Make sure you see the night sky footage starting at about :50 — it’s amazing! And the video César took while driving down a desert road is really fun to “ride along.”
“I must say that the trip was so exciting, and I am already planning another for next summer!” he added.
This is not your basic sunset timelapse! It combines a close-up view of the Sun with a solar telescope along with the landscape in the foreground. Astrophotographer Göran Strand from Sweden has been planning this photoshoot for a year, and it turned out spectacularly.
“Yesterday I went out to shoot a sunset I’ve planed since last summer,” Göran said via email. “This time of the year, the Sun passes right behind a big radar tower if you stand at the Swedish National Biathlon Arena in Östersund. The radar tower is located about 8 km away from the arena in a small village called Ås. I shoot the movie using my solar telescope to capture the structures on the Sun. The timing was perfect and the Sun looked really nice since it was full of sunspots and big filaments.”
Note the size of the Earth inserted for reference.
Below is a beautiful image taken a few days earlier by Göran of the setting Sun:
Astrophotograher César Cantú from Mexico is visiting Utah and captured an incredible timelapse of the view at sunset along with the formation of anti-crepuscular rays — a spectacular optical phenomena where light rays scattered by dust and haze appear on the horizon opposite to the setting Sun.
The word crepuscular means “relating to twilight,” and these rays occur when objects such as hills or clouds partially shadow the Sun’s rays, usually when the Sun is low on the horizon. These rays are visible only when the atmosphere contains enough haze or dust particles and in just the right conditions, sunlight is scattered toward the observer.
Then occasionally, light rays scattered by dust and haze sometimes appear on “antisolar” point, (the horizon opposite to the setting Sun). These rays, called anti-crepuscular rays, originate at the Sun, cross over the sky to the opposite horizon, and appear to converge toward the antisolar point.
For both crepuscular and anti-crepsucular, the light rays are actually parallel, but appear to converge to the horizon due to “perspective,” the same visual effect that makes parallel railroad tracks appear to converge in the distance.
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