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SYFY WIRE Bad Astronomy

Superb time lapse: "My Soul"

By Phil Plait

This is a wonderful, wonderful time lapse video made by Minnesota photographer Mark Ellis put to the music of Peter Mayer.

You absolutely must make sure it's in HD and make it full screen.

I am a lifelong appreciator of music, both listening to it and making it. As much as I love hearing an artist's creation, there is an amazing synergy that occurs when we get a visual to go with it. Perhaps that's why I love movie soundtracks so much; two different senses combined add up synergistically to more than their arithmetic sum. This video and the music exemplify that beautifully.

I am very impressed with the photographic work in this, and that's not even including the incredibly cold conditions under which a lot of it was made! And as an astronomer I have to add a couple of notes. Pay attention at 4:00; the lyrics to the song say, "... counting galaxies like snowflakes...", and Mark artfully puts in a view of M31, the Andromeda Galaxy. I particularly like the shots where foreground trees are in focus while the sky is out of focus; you can really see the colors of Orion's stars.

Also, in several of the shots, as stars go by I see points of light that are stationary in the sky. I suspect these are geostationary satellites, man-made satellites with orbits 24 hours long. That means they revolve around the Earth at the same rate at which we spin, making them appear to hang motionless (or nearly so) in the sky even as the stars rise and set around them.

You can find out more about the music at Peter Mayer's website, and more about Mark Ellis's photography at his site. I hope Mark makes more videos like this. A lot more.

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- JAW DROPPING Space Station time lapse!

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