Friday, June 3, 2011

Watch the Earth move

VIDEO: Earth Rotating Under Very Large Telescopes

NASA: Most time lapse videos of the night sky show the stars and sky moving above a steady Earth. Here, however, the frames have been digitally rotated so that it is the stars that stay (approximately) steady, and the Earth that moves beneath them. The video shows the actual rotation of the Earth, called diurnal motion, in a clear and moving way, as if the camera were floating free in space.

The telescopes featured in the video are the Very Large Telescopes (VLT) in Chile, a group of four of the largest optical telescopes deployed anywhere in the world. A discerning observer... may also note the use of laser guide stars, zodiacal light, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, and fast-moving, sunlight-reflecting, Earth-orbiting satellites. The original video, on which the above sequences are based, can be found here.