The stars of the southern hemisphere

The late autumn and winter nighttime sky is especially beautiful and interesting for those who enjoy looking into heaven, both the professional astronomers and the amateur backyard stargazers like myself. The clarity of the winter atmosphere makes all those heavenly bodies "pop" and seem even brighter and closer than they normally do.

But things are popping on the opposite side of the equator as well. I recently ran across a marvelous time-lapse video by astro-photographer Stephane Guisard that shows that brilliant southern hemisphere spring/summer sky. The scene is the sky over the Atacama Desert in Chile. If you'll notice the rocks in the video, you can also see some of the ancient petroglyphs left by people who lived in that desert long ago. It is a fascinating video. Enjoy.

"Hierbas Buenas" Valley Petroglyphs (Night Time Lapse Movie) from Stéphane Guisard on Vimeo.

The Bad Astronomy blog in Discover magazine has a discussion of the film which explains a bit about what is captured in the images.


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