The Aurora Graces Death Valley With Its Majestic Beauty, in Timelapse

During two nights in the middle of March, a team of five "starchasers" captured an incredible sight from the remote desert.

For three days and two nights in the middle of March, a team of five "starchasers" camped out in the remote wilderness of Death Valley National Park as their cameras snapped up long shots of the night sky. The result is the gorgeous video above. "No special effects used, just the natural rotation of the earth's axis," the team explains.

The video showcases their first try at some new techniques, including "moonpainting the foreground" (0:53--1:20) and something they are calling "STARSCRAPING," which combines regular timelapse footage with star trails to much dramatic effect. You can see that series begin around 1:08. The star trail shots were shot with 25-second exposures. An aurora (very far south for an aurora, but not unheard of) appears at 1:36 and 2:22 (you can see a more northern view of that March 17 aurora here).

Curious about how they made the movie? Fortunately one member of the team also made a behind-the-scenes account of how it all came together:

A few stills from their adventure:

dlapse2still8.jpg Gavin Heffernan

 

dlapse2still12.jpg Gavin Heffernan

 

dlapse2still9.jpg Gavin Heffernan

 

dlapse2still6.jpg Gavin Heffernan

The crew:

dlapse2bts11.jpg John Brookins

For more work by Sunchaser Pictures, visit http://www.sunchaserpictures.com/.

Rebecca J. Rosen is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she oversees the Business Channel. She was previously an associate editor at The Wilson Quarterly.

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. Who cares about youth? James Hamblin turns to his colleague Jeffrey Goldberg for advice.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. James Hamblin turns to a colleague for advice.

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Video

Pittsburgh: 'Better Than You Thought'

How Steel City became a bikeable, walkable paradise

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

More in Video

Just In