This video was created with permission from University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory.

I had not seen a timelapse video which demonstrated how the earth turns around the axis which points to the celestial poles. So I decided to set one up. This was done with the camera mounted on a tracking mount (Ioptron Sky Tracker) aligned to the South Celestial Pole, a point with no bright star such as Polaris or the North Star on the corresponding northern pole. Once aligned, the tracker simply turns at the same rate as the earth in the opposite direction, keeping the stars fixed while the earth appears to move. The slight motion of the stars closer to the corners is due to lens distortion warping the stars as they change position relative to the lens. The pink glow at the horizon is due to mild Aurora activity (Aurora Australis)

This is shot on Mt John above Lake Tekapo, New Zealand. In the Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve. On the southern part of the mountain Canterbury University’s McLellan 1 Metre telescope dome can be seen.

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