Timelapse Trip Through the Milky Way with Visits by Falling Stars

Gorgeous night skies and shooting stars abound. Apparently, we’ve a theme rolling today. One photographer shared his photo and musings on how to capture a falling star and another sent us this timelapse video- a very short but incredibly beautiful collection of images.

The artist, David Wilson, wrote:

Shot out Sprowel Creek Road, [the video] shows the majestic Milky Way and accompanying star field moving across the frame as they sink slowly beneath a southwesterly forested ridge line. Along the way, miscellaneous meteors from the Perseid meteor shower can be seen zipping through. The timelapse comprises 265 individual photographs, each a 20-second exposure. Allowing so much light in…allows a great deal more detail to show up in the Milky Way than we see with our naked eyes.

Click the brackets in the lower right of the video to expand to full screen. After doing that, there’s a good chance you’ll watch this one more than once and share it with your friends. Right below this are some icons you can use to share the video with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest and also by email.



  • Wow! and thanks.

  • That’s great work David… Thanks…!

  • Thanks, you guys, I am glad you like it. This one was shot over the course of about 2:45 hours. I have fairly recently gotten interested in Timelapse, and keep experimenting. And until even more recently, my idea of a far out star shot would be a long exposure in which the stars have time to form very long trails. That is neat, but it completely wipes out the Milky Way. And I’ve recently discovered that the Milky Way is extremely awesome. I am just mesmerized by it in these pictures. All these years, and it’s been just sitting up there waiting!

    I’ll attach another Milky Way picture, not a time lapse, that I took last night from the top of Trinadad head looking south along the coast with the Milky Way high in the sky over the ocean.

  • GI’ll attach a photo of the brightest meteor I caught while photographing the above timelapse. As you can see by the position of the Milky Way, it was later in the evening.

    A timelapse movie is made by taking a sequence of images at regular intervals of an event as it unfolds. In this case, I set the exposure to 20 seconds, and set my camera’s interval timer to 18 seconds (arbitrary). So the shutter would open, stay open for 20 seconds, then close. 18 seconds later, the cycle repeated. This gave me 265 individual photographs of the Milky Way, each one about 38 seconds after the previous one (20 sec from beginning to end of exposure + 18 sec interval). The camera battery died at some point while I, er, napped, so I’m not sure exactly when it died. But doing the calculations puts it at about 2.75 hours.

    I started the timelapse sequence at about 11:30 PM. I checked the camera periodically, and watched the sky for meteors. There were a lot of them, but mainly in and coming from a more northerly direction, from the constellation Perseus, to be precise (hence the name of the name of the meteor shower, the Perseids). But there were trees in that direction, plus the Milky Way was best in the opposite direction, so I pointed my camera toward the ridge line to the southwest, where one end of the Milky Way’s long band was dipping beneath the horizon.

    It was a beautiful shot of the Milky Way, but I was now pointed about as far from most of the meteors as I could have gotten. I did get some shooting stars in some of the photographs, though, and interestingly they mostly tended to parallel the Milky Way’s length, as you see in the attached photo.

    I misspelled Trinidad in my previous comment!

  • Another still… with two smaller meteors 🙂

  • Lovely and transporting. Out of this world! Thank you ,David and Kym.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *