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ISS Star Trails TRON-IZED

This is astronaut Don Pettit.  Don’s got a whole bunch of cameras on board the International Space Station, or at least he did on missions Expeditions 30 and Expedition 31 to the ISS.

Don took a whole bunch of awesome photos that were turned into one cool time lapse video, but given a crazy Tron-like twist.  Watch this, it’s well worth a few minutes:

ISS Startrails – TRONized from Christoph Malin on Vimeo.

Now this guy, this is Christoph Malin, he is responsible for the video above.  He’s also awesome.

From the video:

Do you remember 1982’s “TRON” movie? The plot: A computer programmer (epic: Jeff Bridges) is digitized inside the software world of a mainframe computer, where he interacts with various programs in his attempt to get back out. I loved the light cycle races and strange solar wind ships…

Back in the real word the ISS is in a way one of these solar ships, constantly rotating around us. A tiny white spot, as it can be seen racing over the sky from time to time, when illuminated by the sunset (and sunrise ;).

This Video was achived by “stacking” image sequences provided by NASA from the Crew at International Space Station (see alsofragileoasis.org/blog/2012/3/on-the-trails-of-stars/). These “stacks” create the Star Trails, but furthermore make interesting patterns visible. For example lightning corridors within clouds, but they also show occasional satellite tracks (or Iridium Flashes) as well as meteors – patterns that interrupt the main Star Trails, and thus are immediately visible.

The many oversaturated hot pixels in some of the scenes are the inevitable result of ultrahigh ISO settings the Nikon D3s in ISS-use are pushed to for keeping exposure times short by all means (owed to the dramatic speed the ISS travels). As there are no dark frames or RAW data currently available, hot pixels are not easy to remove.

After the initial stacking, all images have been sequenced with Apple Motion and the Video cut and edited with Final Cut Pro X. Stacking done with StarStaX, get it here: markus-enzweiler.de/software/software.html

This Video would also not have been possible without that great minimal soundtrack “Eileen” by Lee Rosevere (members.shaw.ca/happypuppyrecords/index.html) that totally nailed the mood, as well as a short clip of “Window #3” by Two Bicycles (freemusicarchive.org/music/Two_Bicycles/Beko_Crash_Symbols_1/07_Window_3). VIMEO MUSIC STORE ROCKS!

All sequences and images courtesy “The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth”, Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, NASA Johnson Space Center, eol.jsc.nasa.gov/Videos/CrewEarthObservationsVideos/
Closing sequence © Christoph Malin / ESO.org / filmed at Cerro Paranal.

Thanks a lot to my favourite bad Astronomer, Phil Plait at BadAstronomy for first posting the film (blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2012/10/16/my-god-its-full-of-star-trails/) and many many thanks to Vimeo for the Staff Pick!

A truckload of thanks go out to NASA astronaut Don Pettit (petapixel.com/2012/06/25/astronaut-don-pettit-floating-with-his-huge-camera-collection-on-the-iss/) and his colleagues for taking these images, and making films like this one reality!

Finally, please also be aware of the growing issue of light pollution (plightwithlight.org/index.php?id=49&L=1) one can see in many of these scenes! Support IDA (darksky.org) on their challenge to preserve the night sky for us and our children, on reducing energy waste! And don’t forget, it is your tax money that lights up the sky!

Oh, and visit my friends at the UNESCO Project TWAN (twanight.org) for some of the coolest nightsky images and videos on our planet! One people, one sky!

Always believe in your dreams and make it possible!

All the best,
Christoph Malin
christophmalin.com

PS: At about 1:42 you see Comet “Lovejoy” rising…

PS2: Be sure to check out my other Movies:

“Astronomer’s Paradise”, vimeo.com/36972668 – featured on National Geographic
“The Island – Teaser”, vimeo.com/27539860 – featured on NG
“Urban Mountain Sky”, vimeo.com/40969904 – featured on Discovery Channel
“Black Hole Sun”, vimeo.com/24149087, featured on NG

facebook.com/christoph.malin
twitter.com/#!/christophmalin
twanight.org/cmalin

Indeed. I love the world, humans are awesome.

Thanks to PetaPixel for the Don Pettit photo!

WOW: Work It, Tron Dancers!

Japan, I love you. You’ve done it again.

The Wrecking Crew Orchestra performs a jaw dropping dance performance inspired by TRON. I love their use of cueing and the effects they can create using only intensity parameters and their bodies! CHECK IT OUT!

This is the full length version of a piece seen in the Sony Experia smartphone ad:

A Custom-Built Tron Lightcycle – for only $35,000

Okay, if you’re in your 30s, there’s a chance that you’re like me – a huge fan of the old movie Tron.  There’s lots of merchandise out there, especially lately with the release of the Tron Legacy movie.  Have you seen this latest piece of merchandise?

Yeah.  Now that is absolutely beautiful.  A company called Parker Brothers Choppers in Melbourne, FL just sold some of these on eBay.  As I checked the listing for this bike, which is now over, I noticed that they got a pretty $35,000 for their design!

Hey, the thing is beautiful, that’s or sure. I’m addicted to driving fast, so I give myself a lifespan of about two weeks on that bike.

Thanks, Inhabitat!

TRON – It’s Baaaack

Tron was one of the first movies I remember as a kid being very influential to my desire of working with light. Much to my pleasure, another version of the movie is coming out – Tron Legacy – and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Am I a nerd? Of course. But the original movie and all of its early 1980’s graphics was excellent.

Check out the trailer: