See What Astronauts See In This Stunning ISS Timelapse


Yes, it’s another time-lapse video made from photos taken by astronauts aboard the ISS. Yes, it’s been digitally remastered, smoothed-over, and set to a dramatic technopop soundtrack. But no, it’s still not boring because our planet is beautiful and spaceflight is and always will be absolutely fascinating.

There. I said it.

The video above “Astronaut – a Journey to Space” is everything that I just mentioned and was compiled and edited by photographer and video artist Guillaume Juin. The original images were gathered from Johnson Space Center’s Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth site, and were captured during ISS missions from 2011 to 2014. Aforementioned dramatic technopop music is by Vincent Tone. Watch it above, or for maximum impact watch it full-screen. (I strongly advise the latter.) Enjoy!

HT to Sploid and fellow EFT-1 NASA Social participant Ailyn Marie for bringing this to my attention.

Glowing Galaxies Shine Above Trance-Like Telescopic Timelapse

We often speak of the discoveries and data flowing from astronomical observatories, which makes it easy to forget the cool factor. Think of it — huge telescopes are probing the universe under crystal-clear skies, because astronomers need the dark skies to get their work done.

That’s what makes this astronomical video by Jan Hattenbach such a treat. He’s spent the past three years catching stunning video shots at observatories all over the world, showing timelapses of the Milky Way galaxy and other celestial objects passing overhead.

“The time-lapses were a byproduct of our visual observing – because obviously, these sites are also the best in the world for visual observing and astrophotography. If you ever have the chance to spend a night at one of these observatories, consider yourself very lucky!” wrote Hattenbach on Vimeo.

And often you don’t even need a telescope to appreciate the beauty of the cosmos. Earlier this summer, we posted another video showing the stunning sky above Desert National Park.

Timelapse: Sprites, Gravity Waves and Airglow

Look! Fast! Sprite lightning occurs only at high altitudes above thunderstorms, only last for a thousandth of a second and emit light in the red portion of the visible spectrum, so they are really difficult to see. But one of our favorite astrophotographers and timelapse artists, Randy Halverson captured sprites during a recent thunderstorm in South Dakota. But wait, there’s more!

In his timelapse video, above, you’ll also see some faint aurora as well as green airglow being rippled by gravity waves.

See some imagery from the storm, below:

More sprites with airglow and gravity waves over South Dakota on August 20, 2014. Credit and copyright: Randy Halverson.
More sprites with airglow and gravity waves over South Dakota on August 20, 2014. Credit and copyright: Randy Halverson.

See more images and information about Randy’s fun night of observing these phenomena on his website, dakotalapse.

Timelapse: Indonesian Volcanoes at Day and Night by Thierry Legault

Here’s a beautiful new timelapse from the extremely talented astrophotographer Thierry Legault. He recently traveled to Java Island in Indonesia to the Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park and shot imagery and footage of two active volcanoes, both during the day and at night. The views are absolutely stunning.

“At night, the activity of the sky, nature (volcanoes, clouds and fog) and humans (cars and hikers) is very intense!” Legault said via email.

Below are a couple of still photos from the video:

Fog surrounds the volcanoes of Tengger-Bromo-Semeru Park in Java, Indonesia. Credit and copyright: Thierry Legault.
Fog surrounds the volcanoes of Tengger-Bromo-Semeru Park in Java, Indonesia. Credit and copyright: Thierry Legault.

Thanks to Thierry Legault for sharing his videos and images with Universe Today!

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

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.

Stargazing Timelapse Plus Apollo 14 Launch Soundtrack Is Pure Magic

It feels like a real stargazing session watching this video. You head out at dusk, waiting for the first few stars to emerge. Then there’s a moment when — if you’re in the right spot — whammo. The Milky Way pops out. The sky turns into a three-dimensional playground.

Combine that feeling with the Apollo 14 launch audio from 1971, and this timelapse is a lot of fun.

Continue reading “Stargazing Timelapse Plus Apollo 14 Launch Soundtrack Is Pure Magic”

Incredible Timelapse: 7,000 Miles of Clear Skies

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.”

The Milky Way over Saguaro National Park on June 17, 2014. Credit and copyright: César Cantu.
The Milky Way over Saguaro National Park on June 17, 2014. Credit and copyright: César Cantu.

“I must say that the trip was so exciting, and I am already planning another for next summer!” he added.

We can’t wait to see more of his travel pics!

You can see more images from César’s “dream” trip at his website.

Thanks once again to César Cantu for sharing his work with Universe Today!

Jaw-Dropping Sunset Timelapse from Sweden

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:

See more of Göran’s work at his website, Facebook, or Twitter.

Timelapse: Anticrepuscular Rays at Monument Valley

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.

Above is an image I took a few years ago when I captured both crepuscular and anti-crepuscular rays at the same time. You can read about that here.

Here’s a a great night sky shot of Monument Valley from César:

Monument Valley in Utah under the starry night sky on May 27, 2014. Credit and copyright: César Cantú.
Monument Valley in Utah under the starry night sky on May 27, 2014. Credit and copyright: César Cantú.

See more of his images here.

Want to get your astrophoto featured on Universe Today? Join our Flickr group or send us your images by email (this means you’re giving us permission to post them). Please explain what’s in the picture, when you took it, the equipment you used, etc.

Stunning Timelapse: Arizona Sky of Clouds and Stars

One of our favorite timelapse artists, Gavin Heffernan from Sunchaser Pictures recently was invited to Northern Arizona University as an artist in residence to speak with their photography students about his timelapse experiences. While there, he also took shooting field trips to some of the magnificent locations a few hours away, most notably Grand Canyon National Park and Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. There, Gavin shot footage to create this incredible timelapse that includes incredible sky views and some of the most unique star trails we’ve ever seen. He titled this timelpase as YIKÁÍSDÁHÁ (Navajo for Milky Way or “That Which Awaits the Dawn”).

“The weather was very intense at times, with high winds, frigid temperatures, and stormfronts passing over us,” Gavin wrote on Vimeo, “but the locations were absolutely stunning and the clouds parted for long enough to reveal some incredible starscapes, meteors, and the clearest Milky Way I’ve ever seen!”

Below are some beautiful stills from the film:

Native Star Trails over Grand Canyon from the YIKÁÍSDÁHÁ timelapse. Credit and copyright: Gavin Heffernan/Sunchaser Pictures.
Native Star Trails over Grand Canyon from the YIKÁÍSDÁHÁ timelapse. Credit and copyright: Gavin Heffernan/Sunchaser Pictures.

We asked Gavin how he created this unique “split” effect on this star trails image: “The split star trails shot was done using the mirror effect in final cut, which essentially splits the screen in half. I then bent the angles a little with a fisheye filter — a little creative license/fun! Obviously nobody’s going to mistake it for a real sky, I hope!”

You can see more images from this set on Gavin’s Flickr page.

YIKÁÍSDÁHÁ from Sunchaser Pictures on Vimeo.