Saturday, July 9, 2011

Spectacular time-lapse video of Australian night sky over the ocean

Ocean Sky from Alex Cherney

An amateur astronomer from Australia created this stunning time-lapse video of the night sky over the ocean.

It shows clouds streaming across the sky, star-spangled heavens and the oscillations of the tide.

It took Alex Cherney of Victoria, Australia almost 1.5 years of work, 31 hours of taking images during six nights on Southern Ocean Coast in Australia.

"At a star party in August 2009 I took my first long exposure photograph of the night sky. I was so thrilled with the results that I dedicated most moonless weekends since then to photographing two things I love the most in nature - the night sky and the Ocean.

Taking a series of images and combining them into a time lapse video sequence made it even more interesting. I have since experimented with all-night time lapses, panning motion, etc. But most importantly I've enjoyed the journey immensely."

Clouds and sky both show illuminating changes during this time lapse video from the south of Australia.

In the foreground are scenes visible over a rocky coastline toward the Southern Ocean.

Dark clouds flow across the sky, sometimes from different directions, sometimes blocking background starlight, but other times causing stars to appear to flare as they move in front.

In the first sequence, looking toward the southwest, a nearly vertical band of zodiacal light is seen at sunset just before the band of the Milky Way Galaxy appears to settle into the sea.

Soon the unusual dark patch of the Coal Sack Nebula can be seen on the Milky Way band, near the famous Southern Cross.

Later, looking toward the southeast at about 2:10 in the video, Orion can be seen rising appearing nearly perpendicular to how it rises in northern skies.

Mini-mystery: what are those lights moving along the horizon?

Ocean Sky was awarded the overall winner prize at STARMUS astrophotography competition.

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