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SYFY WIRE Bad Astronomy

Time-Lapse Video: Horizons

By Phil Plait

Regular readers may know the work, if not the name, of Randy Halverson. Iâve featured his night-sky photography and time-lapse videos so often on the blog Iâve lost count (but look to the bottom of this post to see links to a few). He has an excellent eye for composition, motion, and detail.

Heâs created a new video, called âHorizonsâ, and, as usual for him, itâs visually stunning. He has a full-length 31-minute version heâs selling from his website DakotaLapse, and heâs created a teaser trailer to give you a taste of it:

The music for the full-length video is by Simon Wilkinson, but the teaser here has music by none other than Bear McCreary (along with Brendan McCreary and his band Young Beautiful in a Hurry), who wrote the soundtracks for The Walking Dead, Eureka, Defiance, The Sarah Connor Chronicles (which is excellent), and also Europa Report, a movie coming out this summer.

Iâm always drawn to whatâs in the sky in videos like this; the Milky Way is a favorite, but you can usually pick out bright nebulae (like the Lagoon and Trifid) as well as many other celestial objects.

But in this one, given the name, I kept half an eye on the horizon itself, and became mesmerized by the motion I was seeing; stars, aurorae, tall grass in the breeze, and clouds. Especially the clouds; Iâve seen the full-length movie and the clouds steal the show, especially the storm clouds. Convection cells take on an added might and menace when seen in time-lapse, punching upwards convectively like a fist into the sky, lightning dancing underneath. Itâs astonishing.

The full-length version is a half hour of amazing scenes of the accelerated sky. I never get tired of watching them.

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