No, that’s not a reflection on life under Coronavirus lockdown (though some days it might be). It’s an explanation of how this absorbing compilation of images of the sun works. NASA has compiled 425 million high-resolution images into a one hour “decade in the life of the sun.”
Here is a video that displays the rotation of the earth. From BoingBoing,
“Eric created this time-lapse by using a star-tracker with his camera. A star-tracker rotates the camera at the same speed as the Earth, but in the opposite direction. It has the visual effect of stabilizing the sky. Usually, star-trackers are used to stabilize the camera during a long exposure, to avoid blurry or streaked stars in the image.”
Quick, first photo from the total eclipse this morning here in Longyearbyen, Svalbard, 78º north latitude. Today started out clear and cold, -16C as we set out down to the waterfront to get around the mountains that ring the town, because the sun only rises to around 12º above the horizon at this latitude at this time of year.
This photo is a phenomenon called the ‘diamond ring,’ just as totality begins and ends. And totality today was the longest we’ve yet seen, at 2:27, but just like both times before it seemed to go by in seconds.
Likely more photos and perhaps a short video to come. Also photography from a trip by snowmobile to the Russian settlement at Barentsburg yesterday.
Just now, this afternoon in Svalbard, we’re a self-satisfied three for three on sunny skies for total solar eclipses. And each time that moon moving over the sun like that, creating a ring of fire, is a reminder that human = little and the universe that can do things like that = way, way bigger. Every time is a real, deep privilege.