Watch the Earth spin around the starry night sky in this clever timelapse video

by Felix Esser

posted Monday, July 7, 2014 at 12:42 PM EST

Timelapse videos, we've seen plenty of them in the past. That's not to say we've gotten tired of them, quite to the contrary. A well-made timelapse video is often a beautifully crafted piece of art. Timelapse videos of the night sky, however, all have one particular trait in common: the stars "travel" across the sky as time passes and the Earth keeps spinning.

That's an astronomical given which cannot be worked around. Or is it? It appears that in fact, a starry sky timelapse needn't show stars moving across the sky, as this notable example, made by Lance Page of Page Films, demonstrates. Titled 'Ride the Sky,' the video shows a timelapse of the starry night sky standing still, while it's the Earth itself that turns.

Now, you may wonder, how can that be achieved other than from outer space? That's where some clever technology comes in. In order to create this stunning new take on starry sky timelapse photography, Lance made use of two motion control units, one with the task of rotating the camera at the same speed and in the same direction as the stars (that is counter the Earth's own rotation,) and one with the task of moving the camera horizontally for some extra action.

So by pointing his camera directly at the North Star and making it rotate in opposition to the Earth's rotation, he was able to "freeze" the night sky, while the Earth is seen spinning around it -- instead of the stars spinning around the Earth. If you're curious to learn how exactly Lance achieved this spectacular footage, take a look at his detailed behind-the-scenes coverage over at Page Films' website.

(via NoFilmSchool)