Mountain peaks, clouds, mist and starry sky of the Tekapo International Dark Sky Reserve in motion.

I am very happy we made Lake Tekapo on South Island of New Zealand our winter holiday destination. Of course it had to be around the New Moon and I hoped for some clear nights. The weather was good and I had two cameras clicking away during six nights.

One lucky night the fog descended on the valley but Mt. John remained above it. The lights of Lake Tekapo village and passing cars under the blanket of fog made for a very cool foreground. I think I like it even better than Aurora. Warm thanks to the University of Canterbury for letting me use the Mt. John Observatory grounds.

Matariki (the Māori name for the Pleiades) eluded me due to clouds, full memory card or flat battery until the very last morning at the Church of Good Shepherd. Even then it looked like the fog thickened just before Matariki rose but it cleared up just in time when Jupiter and Venus joined the show.

I hope you enjoy watching this short film as much as I enjoyed making it.

Alex Cherney

Music: ambient symphony by zero-project.gr

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