"Night Moves" has been an effort several years in the making. It’s not a collection of astro-lapse sequences from any one State or location, but rather a compilation of sequences shot over the past few years at a variety of locations I had the opportunity visit. Spanning from the East Coast to the West Coast to the South Coast, these include Gaviota State Park (1:47) and Joshua Tree National Monument (2:43) in California, Shired Island (1:02) in Florida, Keymar (the opening sunset sequence 0:01) and Savage Forest (2:32) in Maryland, Edgartown (1:54) and South Beach (2:06, 3:49) on Martha’s Vineyard, South Baldy Mountain (1:11) in New Mexico, Pilot Mountain (0:10) in North Carolina, Cabo Rojo Lighthouse (0:36) and La Paguera (sailboat and thunderstorm sequence at 1:21) in Puerto Rico, Badlands National Park (3:04, 3:08) in South Dakota, Blackwater Falls State Park (0:49, 3:22) and Good Hope Observatory (0:22, 1:33) in West Virginia, and Devil’s Tower National Monument (2:22, 3:34) in Wyoming.
Some trivia items: At 1:57 you might catch a glimpse of a fireball dead center of the frame as it flashes into existence then vanishes in a twisting swirl of cloud debris, or a meteor ‘train’. The train lasted some 12 minutes real time after the fireball hit and burned up in the atmosphere. The event happens moments after a plane shoots across the sky. You can pause and step through the video to see the fireball in its glory.
The Devil’s Tower sequence is just filled with planes, satellites, and meteors.
During the third sequence, if you watch the sky carefully above and a shade right the observatory, you might notice a star brighten for a few seconds before fading out again, and NOT move with respect to the rest of the stars in the sky. But rather, stay relatively stationary. That is a satellite in geosynchronous orbit. You can see two others at the top halfway to the left during the Savage Forest Milky Way rise sequence.
The sky glow toward the end of the Shired Island sequence is from moonrise, not sunrise. The bright light that comes up from behind the clouds during the Cabo Rojos Lighthouse sequence is also moonrise, not sunrise. Looks bright enough to be the Sun, but notice you can still see the stars in the sky. ☺
The sequence from atop of South Baldy is looking East. Socorro is the brightly lit town at the bottom of the view. Above it the sky is glowing, but *not* because of the town. Rather, this is what is known as Zodiacal Light. Also, just as this sequence ends the crescent Moon rises.
The oblong fuzzy object at the lower left of the first Badlands Sequence is the Andromeda Galaxy, 2.2 million light years away.
The jerky moment during the Joshua Tree sequence is because I was using a two-piece dolly (for easier transportation on a plane) and the cart got caught at the join between the two sections for a couple minutes.
The lights on the horizon during the South Beach and Shired Island sequences are boats far out on the water.
The music score is not my typical ‘dramatic’ themed music, but I like it and think it goes well with the sequence. It was provided by my friends in Audio Frenzy (theaudiofrenzy.com) for this video (the URL in the video credits is wrong). My thanks to them, and I hope you enjoy it.
A shout out to Randy Halverson/Dakotalapse for the loan of a Dynamic Perception Stage Zero dolly during my trip out to the Badlands of South Dakota, and for bringing out his kagillion mega-watt lantern he used to illuminate the mountain butte you see at the right edge of the view in the second Badlands sequence (with the Milky Way). We got together a couple nights to shoot some time-lapse while I was out there for a star party, but at the time I did not have an easily transportable dolly or any other hyper-lapse gear.
Thanks also to Joe Gonzalez for permitting me to shoot some sequences at and of his observatory while he was doing some night sky stuff with some other folks, checking out the Moon and other deep sky objects. Was nice to be able to pop into the observatory out of the cold and check out the views in his telescope then back out to monitor my cameras.
Hyper-lapse sequences were all made possible by use of gear from Astrotrac,, Dynamic Perception, and eMotimo. Without them, these would have all been tripod-only views.