Mauna Kea Observatory Timelapse Videos
While there is now a large number of truly breathtaking full dome planetarium shows (covering a wide range of scientific topics) available to planetaria worldwide, there is clearly a need for low-cost (or even free) full-dome content, to allow planetaria to stretch their programming capabilities. With this goal in mind, Science on the Half Sphere (as part of CosmoQuest) will host a wide variety of full-dome images and videosthat can be readily used in other planetaria (and free for use; see copyright notice below). SotHS is a partnership between CosmoQuest and people at the Ward Beecher Planetarium, at Youngstown State University.
This page includes a series of timelapse videos (and the source images) of some of the telescopes of the Mauna Kea Observatories, one of the foremost astronomical observatories in the world. With a summit located at 13, 796 feet (4205 m), the dark and (often) clear skies make Mauna Kea one of the finest locations for which international astronomers can taken high quality data of the many wonders of the universe. Some videos of the night sky as seen from Mauna Kea are also included.
These timelapse videos and related images are available for free for non-commercial use (under a Creative Commons license), provided proper image credit is given. Funding for the equipment and taking of these images was provided through a National Science Foundation research grant (AST-0908377), as part of the broader impact for a large-scale survey of globular clusters in the Virgo galaxy cluster. This research is but one of many facets of the Next Generation Virgo Cluster Survey (NGVS), a continuing program that makes use of data from some of the observatories on Mauna Kea; in particular, the project is based on the incredible imaging capabilities of the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope.
About the Images/Videos : the fisheye images were taken with a Canon 7D camera with a 5.6mm fisheye lens (custom setup from Dome3D). Individual images (domemasters) are provided as JPEG images at a resolution of 2048×2048 pixels,. The timelapse videos are available as 2Kx2K MOV files, at 30 frames per second.
Please enjoy the images! If you do use any of these images in your programs, please let Durrell know via email (prdurrell ‘at’ edu); CosmoQuest and the NSF are interested in knowing these images are being used for their intended purpose.
Dr. Patrick Durrell, Dept. of Physics & Astronomy, Youngstown State University
|The ‘rising’ of the shadow of Mauna Kea
(551 images; 19sec at 30fps) 2K domemasters 2K MOV
|The Harvard-Smithsonian Submillimeter Array (SMA)
(124 images; 4sec at 30fps) 2K domemasters 2K MOV
|The Gemini North Telescope (outside)
(328 images; 11sec at 30fps) 2K domemasters 2K MOV
|The Gemini North Telescope – afternoon tests (sequence 1)
(322 images; 10sec at 30fps) 2K domemasters 2K MOV
|The Gemini North Telescope – afternoon (sequence 2)
(233 images; 6 sec at 30fps) 2K domemasters 2K MOV
|The Gemini North Telescope – before sunset (sequence 3)
(347 images; 12sec at 30fps) 2K domemasters 2K MOV
|The Gemini North Telescope – before sunset (sequence 4)
(356 images; 12sec at 30fps) 2K domemasters 2K MOV
|Night Sky from Mauna Kea – 3hr (total) sequence
(306 images; 10sec at 30fps) 2K domemasters 2K MOV
|Night Sky from Mauna Kea – 30 min sequence
(65 images; 2sec at 30fps) 2K domemasters 2K MOV
We were on CosmoQuest’s Hangoutathon on June 16th, 2013 to talk about these timelapse videos. The hangout-a-thon segment can be viewed below:
Acknowledgements: Special thanks to Matt Mascheri at Dome3D, who customized the camera setup and the training needed for the production of these images. Many of the images were taken with the help and guidance of Jean-Charles Cuillandre at the CFHT, Joy Pollard at Gemini, and Glen Petitpas at the SMA. YSU photography student Christen Higgins also helped immensely with some of the Photoshop work.
Copyright Notice – these images & timelapses are made available under a Creative Commons license, and are FREE for non-commercial use, provided proper image credit is given (varies with each sequence; refer to image metadata).