There are approximately one hundred billion galaxies in the observable universe. Planet Earth is billions of years old.
Our planet is the only astronomical object known to harbor life as we know it. The solar system is vast and complex. The chaos that emerged from the Big Bang arrived at a place of stability. Planets are in a delicate balance.
Every sunset and sunrise. Every moonrise and moonset. The rise and the trajectory of the Milky Way. The fall and direction of shadows as the moon sets and the Milky Way rises. We can predict astronomical events with perfect accuracy from any place on Earth.
Ever since I have been capturing landscape and time-lapse photography, I've been fascinated with the clockwork precision of celestial events. This short movie explores the predictability of our planetary system.
Catch the first sun rays break over Half Dome in Yosemite. Watch the moon shadows get longer while the Milky Way rises in the opposite direction.
Follow the Milky Way span the night sky, giving us a tiny glimpse of what else may be out there. Catch the Milky Way rising from behind the moonlit landscape only moments after the moon set. Catch the Supermoon rising over Yosemite.
With only a few data points we can predict astronomical events with complete accuracy. We can predict moon phases or the rise of the Milky Way years in advance. It appears obvious and easy to take for granted, but it is humbling knowing that Earth is among billions of galaxies.
It puts life on the human scale into perspective. It makes you wonder if the same predictability pertains to life on Earth. Everything is going through cycles. The seasons, our bodies, stock markets. Can, or should we, be able to predict everything given the right data points?
Earth’s orbit has been stable for billions of years. Without stability, there is no life on Earth. Without stability, we would not exist. There is a calmness that comes from predictability. To create life, we need predictability.