Monday, May 30, 2011

Amazing Video of the Milky Way Over the VLT

This is some of the most dramatic time-lapse that I have ever seen. It shows off the telescopes of the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope (VLT) under an awe inspiring vista of the heart of our own Milky Way Galaxy.  The VLT is composed of four 8.2-meter telescopes.  During the video you can see an occasional yellowish line of light shining up from one of the domes.  That is the light of a laser guide star system that is employed for adaptive optics, a process that allows astronomers to get super sharp images from ground-based telescopes.

Click here for a direct link, be sure to watch it in HD.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Shield Your Lights and Fight Light Pollution

NASA's Earth Observatory today posted this image of city lights from Richmond, VA to New York, NY.
It clearly shows off how these cities have merged together, but it also shows off how much light is shining upward and not down where the people who might need some light happen to be.

I posted this video on my Palomar Skies blog, but since I am passionate about curbing light pollution, I thought I would post it here too.  It is a short demonstration that shows off why it is important to shield outdoor lights.

The great thing about shielding outdoor lighting as shown in the video is that more light is directed where it is actually needed. Instead of causing glare or shining upward into the sky the light source does not need to be as bright. This means that a lower wattage lighting fixture can be used which will save money.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Timelapse: The City Limits

Here is an amazing video of nighttime time-lapse photography that shows off the startling differences between big cities and open natural spaces.

Timelapse - The City Limits from Dominic on Vimeo.

It shouldn't come as much of a surprise that there aren't many stars seen from in the cities, yet the images are impressive.