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Feel Like You’re Flying at Warp Speed: Watch This Video of Stacked-Up Space Photos

A unique time-lapse technique turns familiar views into psychedelic art


Built up from the already-stunning photographs captured from the International Space Station, the short video “ISS Startrails“ by cinematographer and journalist Christoph Malin does Earth-from-space time-lapse like you’ve never seen it before. In a typically beautiful time-lapse video, you feel like you’re floating weightless in orbit as you cruise over the surface of the planet. Malin’s creation, on the other hand, feels like you’ve taken the place of David Bowman in Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 rendition of 2001: A Space Odyssey as you’re sent careening through time and space over once-familiar views.

The trick to Malin’s video—what separates it from a typical time-lapse—is that the photos don’t fade away. Rather, Malin built up his surreal images by progressively layering sequential photographs, such that aurorae, thunderstorms, and stars persist.

Writing on his blog, Malin says that the video was built using the free software package StarStaX, which he used to piece together a terabyte worth of photographs.

More from Smithsonian.com:

Beautiful New Earth-From-Space Footage from NASA

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About Colin Schultz
Colin Schultz

Colin Schultz is a freelance science writer and editor based in Toronto, Canada. He blogs for Smart News and contributes to the American Geophysical Union. He has a B.Sc. in physical science and philosophy, and a M.A. in journalism.

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