Time-lapse photographer Randy Halverson spent three months hunting thunderstorms at night in central South Dakota using a Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 60D, and Canon T2i. Capturing both the storms and the Milky Way in the same shots proved to be a difficult task:
One of the challenges in making this video, was trying to get good storm and star shots. The opportunity doesn’t come along very often, the storm has to be moving the right speed and the lightning can overexpose the long exposures. I had several opportunities this summer to get storm and star shots. In one instance, within a minute of picking up the camera and dolly, 70mph winds hit. One storm was perfect, it came straight towards the setup, then died right before it reached it. [#]
In the end, he captured enough photographs to create this 3-minute-long time-lapse video showing the galaxy floating overhead while storm clouds roll in. Lightning photos are one thing, but seeing storms sweep across the scene at night is incredible.
What you see above is the largest true-color photograph of the night sky ever created, shot by 28-year-old amateur astrophotographer Nick Risinger using six astronomical cameras. It’s not just the view of the sky from one location, but is instead a 360-panoramic view of the sky taken by trekking 60,000 miles across the western United States and South Africa starting in March 2010. The final image is composed of 37,000 separate photographs. Check out the massive zoomable high-definition version of the photo here.
After a seven year journey that involved being slingshotted around the planets in our solar system, NASA’s MESSENGER probe entered Mercury’s orbit on March 17th, 2011. Yesterday the probe beamed back the first photograph ever taken of the planet from orbit (seen above). Read more…
If you’ve been thinking of trying your hand at lunar photography, tomorrow night might present the perfect opportunity to do so. It’s when the Moon will be the closest it has been to the Earth in 18 years, making it 14% larger and 30% brighter than when the full Moon is furthest away. Miss this opportunity, and you won’t see a Moon like this until about 2029 — who knows what we’ll be shooting with by then!
You probably won’t believe this, but this fly-by video of Saturn wasn’t created with 3D computer graphics. Instead, it was created using thousands of high-resolution still photographs captured by the Cassini orbiter.
This is a stunning time-lapse video of an entire night at the ALMA Array Operations Site in Chile (the largest astronomical project in existence). The antennas point at the same part of the sky at any given moment, so their movements are perfectly synchronized. If you think watching a sunset is beautiful, wait till you see our galaxy come into view in this video.
P.S. This video could do with music. We recommend playing some Sigur Ros in the background while watching this.
You don’t need fancy camera gear to capture beautiful images and video of the night sky. The above video shows a timelapse created using 1262 photos captured with a Canon 20D at 30 second exposures and ISO 800. At the end there’s a star trails photo created by combining all the stills into a single image. It’s a great 1.25 minute dose of relaxation and inspiration.
If you live in an urban area, you probably don’t see the night sky very clearly due to light pollution. Luckily, there’s videos like this one to remind us how beautiful the sky above is when there aren’t artificial lights drowning out the stars. This is a high-definition time-lapse of the Milky Way floating across the sky.
Warning: this might inspire you to learn more about time-lapse and astrophotography.
Believe it or not, the above photograph was made with an iPhone 4. jurilog created a tiny astrophotography kit using a small telescope you can buy online for ¥9,800 (~$115) and a miniature tripod mount. Read more…