Friday, October 5, 2012

Lights in Motion: Aurora of Denali

This is too cool! In late September Denali National Park posted a five-minute time-lapse video of the aurora borealis on its website.

The video, accompanied by an original musical composition, was prepared by Denali seasonal interpreter Jacob Frank, who took more than 8,000 still images of the aurora between last January and March. By taking the still images and rendering them together in sequence, the lights were animated back to life.

Close to 60 hours were volunteered, shooting still photos in subzero temperatures. Some nights were so cold (- 42 degrees F) that the camera only worked for about fifteen minutes.

Composer Peter Van Zandt Lane was commissioned, as a volunteer, to score the video. It took Lane ten days to compose and record “Coronal Mass Ejection,” a term used to describe a burst of solar wind that ultimately created the effect of the Northern Lights. Lane hopes to show the video and perform the piece live in concert in the near future. Enjoy:

Hiking Trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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