Denali National Park has posted a five-minute-long, time-lapse video of the aurora borealis on its website and Facebook page.
The video, accompanied by an original musical composition, was prepared by Denali seasonal interpreter Jacob Frank, who took more than 8,000 still images of the aurora between last January and March. By taking the still images and rendering them together in sequence, the lights were animated back to life.
Close to 60 hours were volunteered, shooting still photos in subzero temperatures. Some nights were so cold (- 42 degrees F) that the camera only worked for about fifteen minutes.
Composer Peter Van Zandt Lane was commissioned, as a volunteer, to score the video. It took Lane ten days to compose and record “Coronal Mass Ejection,” a term used to describe a burst of solar wind that ultimately created the effect of the Northern Lights. Lane hopes to show the video and perform the piece live in concert in the near future.
An aurora webpage (http://www.nps.gov/dena/naturescience/lightscape.htm) has been created to showcase the video. The park also plans to show it to winter visitors at the Murie Science and Learning Center.
The video can also be seen on YouTube via the “More Information” link below.