Time-Lapse Starscape – Heavens in Motion

Temporal Distortion

Randy Halverson, who recently won a time-lapse video competition with one of his Milky Way clips (see the clip at the bottom of this post), photographed this sequence during the summer and fall of 2011 in South Dakota, Utah and Colorado.

“What you see is real, but you can’t see it this way with the naked eye. It is the result of 20-30 second exposures, edited together over many hours to produce the time-lapse,” Halverson wrote.

At 0:53 and again at 2:17, for example, meteors with persistent trails twinkle into view.

The night sky seems unchanging to the naked eye, but beauty is hidden beyond the limits of unaided human perception.

As Earth rotates, the sky moves, revealing astronomical events that only time-lapse photography — a series of exposures lasting for minutes apiece — can truly capture.

“There are so many things you don’t normally see that you can with time-lapse,” said photographer Randy Halverson, who created the video above.

Halverson’s work even attracted the attention of Bear McCreary, a composer who wrote the music for TV shows Battlestar GalacticaEureka and The Walking Dead. He scored Halverson’s for fun.

The surge in amateur popularity of time-lapse videos, caused in part by cheaper access to quality technology and video services, hasn’t gone unnoticed by Wired. Dim the lights, crank up the volume and watch some of our favorite clips in this gallery.

Tempest Milky Way from Randy Halverson.