Time-Lapse Trends: space exploration

“Time-Lapse Trends” is a video blog series which draws attention to some of the many exciting trends in time-lapse production. We feature a new trend in each instalment, to demonstrate the scope of the medium and the various ways in which it is applied, ranging from the popular to the more obscure.

Cameras have always played a crucial role up in space and now time-lapse in particular is becoming an increasingly popular way of documenting space travel.

Time-lapse photography has a practical purpose that has become invaluable to scientists, particularly those studying space and the Earth’s outer atmosphere.

Natural processes such as celestial motion – which are too subtle and long-term for the human eye to see & comprehend naturally – are a popular subject of time-lapse for those who are interested in capturing space from Earth.

Randy Hoffmann’s ‘View of the Milky Way from La Palma’, for example, showcases this application of time-lapse to a particular constellation. These ‘breathtaking’ sequences really do inspire wonder for space and the Earth’s continuous orbit.

Earth from space

While looking at space from Earth is made easier with time-lapse, it is also valuable for getting a sense of what Earth looks like from space.

The speed at which a time-lapse video is able to show the Earth’s movements means that certain weather patterns, light formations, orbits and other celestial happenings are made visible to the human eye.

Lucas Winke has arranged footage freely provided by the International Space Station (ISS) into a 4K time-lapse of Earth. The vibrant patterns of light and colour that have been captured by the Space Station are a rarity to see on Earth; to see city lights and the auroras from space is even more so.

NASA host a ‘Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth’  which includes photographs, time-lapse videos and other materials captured on the ISS. With this online resource space exploration is made accessible to more people.

Other space related time-lapses

Not all space-themed time-lapses are recording activities up in space, and those are not the only videos that garner interest.

Bryan Chan’s time-lapse video tracks three days in the life of the space shuttle Endeavour as it is transported 12 miles through the city streets of Los Angeles – from the International Airport, through Inglewood, and to the California Science Center in Exposition Park, in October 2012.

 

The crowds of people lining the streets are testament to the excitement and anticipation that is felt about space exploration.

This was proven once again very recently following the official unveiling of ‘Rosalind Franklin’, the Airbus-built Mars rover, named after the pioneering DNA scientist as the result of a public poll.

Our own, very bespoke time-lapse solutions are currently being used by the aerospace pioneer to capture the continued development and assembly of the robotic vehicle ahead of its mission to Mars. In-house innovations were made to ensure uninterrupted capture of this iconic space project as it is assembled in a sensitive, carefully managed cleanroom environment.

 

Space exploration and research is a fascinating subject that can be brought to life and enjoyed again and again through time-lapse videos.

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