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Night Sky at Steyersberger Schwaig: Time Lapse Movie

Taken at Steyersberger Schwaig, Lower Austria, 1357m

A 893 image time lapse video at 15 fps showing 8 hours of a night in the Alps of eastern Austria.
You can watch it in HD quality at vimeo. Be sure to toggle the full-screen option.



The camera was pointed southeast. A line of dark spruce trees provides the foreground.

The movie starts with bright Jupiter rising in a curve above the treeline. The sky is slightly brightened by the moon (in the southwest, not visible) which is about to set. Prominent constellations at the beginning are part of the Pegasus square and Andromeda near the upper edge. Numerous planes and satellites cross the field of view, their occurrence decreases after midnight.

Later, the Pleiades and Hyades star clusters appear at the left edge. The Winter Milky Way makes its appearance at 00:20 film time, approx. 10 o'clock during that night, with the constellation Auriga poking into the upper left corner. For unknown reasons, a sudden drop in brightness occurs at 00:23 film time, the camera takes some time to recover. The upper part of Orion, including the bright stars Bellatrix and Beteigeuze, makes its appearance above the treeline about that time, although it takes long past midnight for Orion to rise completely above the trees, with the somewhat bigger red/white spot below Orion's belt being the Orion Nebula. The belt stars and the nebula glance through gaps in the trees earlier. Midnight relates to 00:32 film time. Past midnight, the Gemini stars Castor and Pollux appear at the left edge. At about 00:41 in the film, the Beehive Cluster in Cancer shows up in the lower left corner and Procyon scrapes the treeline.

At 00:45, the wind increases in intensity and manages to rattle the camera once. The trees now visibly sway in the wind. The Winter Milky Way makes its way to the right side of the field of view, the faint red blotch surrounding a white star cluster within the Milky Way is the Rosette Nebula in Monoceros. At 00:52, the brightest star in the sky, Sirius, makes it appearance near the lower right corner, it has been hidden by the trees earlier. The movie stops at 03:49 (real time) with the Beehive almost making it to the images' center line. Leo makes its appearance at the lower left edge near the end, the leading "star" is actually another planet, Mars.

Exposure Data

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© 2011 Walter Koprolin