posted Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 6:51 PM EST


Take one physics professor. Add a Canon EOS 5D Mark II digital SLR, and a modified Canon EOS 450D (also known as a Rebel XSi in the US market). Throw in a pinch of Sigma 50-500mm APO zoom lens, Canon Extender EF 2x teleconverter, and Meade LX80 telescope with alt-azimuth mount. Stir together with one home-made zoom and focus control system, and what do you get? One seriously cool astronomy video, that's what.

Isidro Villa, the aforementioned physics professor, created the rig with the help of David Henarejos and Juan Antonio Albaladejo. The idea behind the zoom and focus control was that the video could gradually zoom in from a landscape shot to a tightly-framed shot of Messier 42, the Orion Nebula. The result is a video that, if we didn't know how it was made, we'd have assumed down to computer trickery. But this is the real deal, and that makes it so much cooler.

Watch the video below, and visit Villa's Vimeo page for more info on the project.

Isidro Villa's incredible video of the Orion Nebula

(via DIY Photography)