Chilean Nights

Video title: Chilean Nights
Author: Robert Barsa
Country: Slovakia

Shot in December 2020, this time-lapse shows the sky from San Pedro de Atacama, Chile, in the southern hemisphere.

Right in the first frame we can see our home galaxy, the Milky Way, as well as both the Large and Small Magellanic clouds, two satellite galaxies orbiting the Milky Way. In the bottom of the image the bright stars Rigil Kentaurus and Hadar (also known as Alpha and Beta Centauri) are visible, both in the constellation Centaurus. Just above, we can also see the small constellation Crux, visible from the northern tropical circles southwards. It is important for navigation purposes because its longer axis indicates the direction of the celestial south pole. The bright whitish star in the top of the image and to the right of the Galaxy is Canopus, one of the brightest stars in the night sky, located in the constellation Carina. Canopus is the second brightest star in the sky, while Rigil Kentaurus is the third brightest.

In some of the next frames, Orion, the great hunter, appears clearly with its bright stars and its characteristic asterism, the belt, composed of three aligned bright stars. Since this video was taken from the southern hemisphere, the Greek hero from the northern hemisphere seems to be performing a headstand.

We can also see the planets Jupiter and Saturn in a close conjunction, even finding themselves in the significant beam of Zodiacal light setting down below the horizon. There are also a few meteors blinking in some of the frames, one of them with a long-lasting and developing trail. The very bright object rising from behind the volcanoes of the Andes, creating spectacular shadows and crepuscular rays, is the Moon. In the last frame we see the Moon next to Saturn and Jupiter.

Also see video in Zenodo:


Robert Barsa/IAU OAE

About the Video

Release date:
15 December 2022, 12:00
Related announcements:
01 m 37 s
Frame rate:
25 fps

About the Object