What do the Stars mean to you?
When I heard the learn’d astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.
The famed American poet Walt Whitman composed the lines above, remarking on the difference between learning about the stars in a classroom setting versus actually going outside and glimpsing the night sky firsthand.
Although learning about the stars can certainly help us accentuate our appreciation of them, there is nothing that quite compares to the experience of sitting out underneath the night sky and gazing upward. Even in the best of circumstances, when we look up we only see a snapshot of the night sky’s majesty. Because our field of vision is in motion, speeding up time would allow us to see what we cannot: the way the night sky moves as the Earth rotates.
Louie Schwartzberg is a storyteller and filmmaker who has been shooting time-lapse photography of nature, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, non-stop. His work compresses time and puts you in sync with different forms of life within our interconnected world.
His work makes the invisible visible.
Through Louie’s camera, trained on the night sky in one spot, we see the earth’s rotation and the kinetic movement of the night sky as if we were pressing fast forward. Louie’s time lapse photography allows us to observe a phenomenon our eyes are not capable of perceiving on their own.