Unless there's a meteor shower, we don't usually notice things moving up in space. Sped up and enhanced, however, the night sky becomes a bustling world—the clouds, the Milky Way and everything in between can be seen shifting and changing in ways the naked eye could never notice.
"Temporal Distortion," above, gives just such a view. Its Vimeo page describes it as "the result of thousands of 20-30 second exposures, edited together to produce the timelapse."
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The video was created by photographer Randy Halverson. Composer Bear McCreary contributed an original soundtrack.
The camera moves slowly along a dolly (some behind the scenes shots can be found here), and it feels like the speed at which we were meant to see the night sky. Although land doesn't take up much of the frame, you can even see the grass grow if you watch carefully.
Other highlights include a meteor's spectacular trail at the 53-second mark and a couple of ghostly deer at 1:27.
Halverson notes, "Most of the video was shot near the White River in central South Dakota during September and October 2011, there are other shots from Arches National Park in Utah, and Canyon of the Ancients area of Colorado during June 2011. The aurora were shot in central South Dakota in September 2011 and near Madison, Wisconsin on October 25, 2011."
Want to make videos like this of your own? It's not easy or cheap, but Halverson details his gear and set-up on the Vimeo page. You can buy a digital download of the 23-minute extended version on the Dakotalapse website.
Keep clicking for more amazing aurora photos.
Aurora Borealis, from Bear Lake, Alaska.
This photo of the southern lights, provided by NASA, was taken from the International Space Station on July 14, 2011.
Astronaut Ron Garan, who recently finished a 164-day mission aboard the International Space Station, tweeted this photo of the southern lights while he was aboard the ISS.
This image, taken from the International Space Station on September 26, 2011, shows a rare red aurora. From NASA's Flickr page: In most cases, the light comes when a charged particle sweeps in from the solar wind and collides with an oxygen atom in Earth's atmosphere. This produces a green photon, so most aurora appear green. However, lower-energy oxygen collisions as well as collisions with nitrogen atoms can produce red photons -- so sometimes aurora also show a red band as seen here.