Comments on a cultural reality between past and future.

This blog describes Metatime in the Posthuman experience, drawn from Sir Isaac Newton's secret work on the future end of times, a tract in which he described Histories of Things to Come. His hidden papers on the occult were auctioned to two private buyers in 1936 at Sotheby's, but were not available for public research until the 1990s.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Time Lapses: How Small We Are

Image Source: I09.

I09 recently carried some amazing time lapse videos of Chilean telescopes watching the night skies; the site is "the largest astronomical project in human history."  I've rarely seen star-gazing videos that make our place in the Milky Way Galaxy so clear.  See the videos below the jump.

Video Source: Youtube.

Caption for the above video: Time-lapse of a whole night at the ALMA Array Operations Site (AOS), located at 5000 meters altitude on the Chajnantor plateau, in the II Region of Chile. As the Moon sets at the beginning of the night, three of the first ALMA antennas start tests as part of the ongoing Commissioning and Science Verification process. Because they are pointing at the same target in the sky at any moment, their movements are perfectly synchronized. As the sky appears to rotate clockwise around the south celestial pole (roughly on the upper left edge of the video), the Milky Way goes down slowly, until it is lying almost horizontal before sunrise. The center of our galaxy becomes visible during the second half of the night as a yellowish bulge crossed by dark lanes in the center of the image, just above the antennas. The flashes on the ground are the car lights of the guards patrolling at the AOS. ALMA, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array is the largest astronomical project in existence and is a truly global partnership between the scientific communities of East Asia, Europe and North America with Chile. ESO is the European partner in ALMA.

Video Source: Youtube.

Caption for the above video: As the sky appears to rotate clockwise around the south celestial pole (behind the rightmost, stationary antenna), the center of the Milky Way, initially visible in the upper left as a yellowish bulge crossed by dark dust lanes, disappears from view. Then, the Small and Large Magellanic Clouds, two neighboring galaxies of the Milky Way, rise from behind the two antennas on the right.

For my other posts on time lapse films, go here and here.

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