Rabbit, Stars, Meteors….The World Is Beautiful

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David Wilson, who has shared several lovely timelapses with us, sent this gorgeous video of the Perseid Meteor shower. He explains what you are seeing in a couple of short paragraphs below:

The Perseid Meteor Shower as seen looking north toward Polaris on the night of August 11 from 10:15 PM to 3:01 AM on August 12. A jackrabbit came to watch, too, and becomes silhouetted against the horizon on the right side about a third of the way through. If you view in HD you might discern a few small meteors that come by in the area above his head. This timelapse sequence comprises 565 individual high resolution still photographs shot with a digital SLR. Then, much as you would make a flip-book animation, they were assembled into a video that plays them back in order for us at 24 frames per second. It required 12 minutes of real time to make one second of the video, which is why the motion is so fast when played back at 24 stills per second.

Some of the lights you see whizzing by are airplanes. The meteors flash and disappear, while the planes move across the frame. Why? Because during each 25-second exposure, a meteor appears for maybe a second. It doesn’t appear in the next picture. But an airplane crosses slowly across the entire 25-second exposure, and it is in the next frame as well, and probably in the next and maybe the next. Thus an airplane zooms across the whole field, while the meteor is a single streak, usually not stretching anywhere near across the entire sky.  There are a great many of both in this video, and probably the larger it can be viewed, and in HD, the more one will see.

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14 comments

  • That rabbit photobomb was the icing on the cake. To have that guy just come into view and hang out for a bit where I happened to be pointing the camera at that particular time was really rarer than meteors themselves! The rabbit was in nine frames, but at 24 frames a second it happens really quickly. The little rabbit bit at the beginning was from the middle, and I looped it so that most of the title we have time to play before the movie started.

    This image is me coming to get the camera at 3:15 AM or so to put it into a new position (which didn’t work out, as the camera only recorded about 5-sec of shots for some reason… Oh well!)

  • Short but beautiful! Thank you 🙂

  • This is wonderful, beautiful, amazing and whimsical all at the same time. Thank you for this gift of summer, David. I could watch the meteors and “photobomb jackrabbit” as you said– 100 times ! Nature is stunning…

  • Dyerville Loop is Not Alderpoint

    BEAUTIFUL…. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!

  • Thank you for sharing. This is a beautiful world we live in.

  • Love it! We sat out on my patio and watched the sky, and saw a few beauties–long tails, one orange one…the night sky out here is fascinating and so huge!

  • Lost Croat Outburst

    Very nice work. Silly wabbit (sic). Technically a hare, but only a jerk would split hairs over it.

  • Thank you all for your comments, I really appreciate that you like it.

    Humanity, short result, aye, but it took 4:43 hours to photograph it 🙂 . It was from 10:14PM to 3:01AM.

    Julianne, I can watch that rabbit for a long time, too, and have a few times. He was in there for 9 frames, and it took 2 pictures per minute. So the … hare… must have hung around for 4:30 min, which amounted to 9/24 of a second of actual video. (It took 12 min of night to make enough still images for 1 sec of video, and they are played back here at 24 frames per sec.)

    Dyerville… Thanks 🙂 You know what? long have I wanted to come up there along your road and photograph with the lights of Garberville/Redway down beneath the Milky Way, but I’m afraid to stop along Dyerville Loop Road at night with a camera — who out there wants a guy with a camera lurking at night? Know anyone? No, really… It would be great. I’d share whatever I got with whoever lets me do it 🙂 . In 1991, I did do that, and got some star trails and a lone fence post, but I wasn’t as worried about such scary things then.

    Martin’s, You’re welcome, and it is!

    Marcia, I totally agree. I was up until 3:30, fascinated by it all. At the end of this timelapse at 3:14 AM, I repositioned the camera to take another series of stills for another timelapse, but I had it set wrong and it only grabbed 5 sec of video (one hour.) I had gone to sleep, and came out at 6 AM to find it hadn’t done its thing 🙁 But, Oh, well! It was a good night. The rabbit! I mean, hare! Jackrabbit.

    Lost Croat, Thanks, and good point. I had considered it! I know “jackrabbit” is a lay term, but it is a lay term for a hare I think. Besides, it seemed to have more of a kick to it than “hare” when I considered how to describe it.

    I was in the movie twice, once near the beginning, and once later on. Both times just a flash of me. Here’s the earlier one. The other figure is another star gazer, at whose house I was.

  • So amazing!!thanks for sharing

  • Can’t believe that Rabbit ruined your video. We need to get rid of all rabbits immediately. JUST KIDDING! I could not believe I saw a story on here without ANY negative posts, so I had to do something about it! LOL. Great time-lapse!

  • Thanks for sharing David- very nice work!

  • Amazing! TY for sharing your talents with us.

  • I loved the film and I especially appreciated the rabbit enjoying the night sky. There is a Japanese story about a rabbit and the moon and it is a popular image
    for things like the noren curtains (which provide privacy in a doorway without blocking airflow). Here’s a bit of the story, and an image.
    So you see, the rabbit we see here is a kin to the Japanese rabbits who observe
    the Autumn moon…
    https://paperdemonjewelry.wordpress.com/tag/japanese-rabbit-folk-song/

    In English nursery rhymes it is said a cat may look at a king but in Japan they say
    a rabbit may look at the moon. Me, I’d rather join the rabbit and look at the moon…or stars…or meteors…

  • Thanks a bunch for your comments. I do these things in order to share, and it feels good that people appreciate it.

    I loved the rabbit story. Then it seems fitting that this (jack)rabbit came out as the last of the moon light filtering through the trees faded away. . .

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