So I was looking at a recent Astronomy Picture of the Day (if you don’t check these out regularly you should…such a great series NASA has going on there…and since 1995!) and the incredible photo immediately made me think of Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night painting.
The beautiful photo…taken by Peter Ward (who near as I can figure works at the Barden Ridge Observatory)…is a four hour exposure of the night sky showing the spine-tingling star trails. The shot has been wrapped into a 360 degree panorama and you can see the circle of the stars around the Southern celestial pole, the streaking star paths near the eastern and western horizons, and the arced path of the stars towards the Northern pole.
As the professional astronomer presenting the picture describes it, looking at the photo is kind of like looking at a time warp. And of course this got me to thinking that perhaps Vincent was able to see the sky in a similar way because he was a time traveler himself stuck in some kind of a time warp.
No? Not buying it? Oh well…the photo and the paintings are still both beautiful. And here they are for your enjoyment. Click on them to see slightly larger versions.
[Oh and go here and take a look at the Quicktime version…drag your mouse across the image…oooo ahhhhh]
[Oh and no this post was not a Dr. Who reference. But I must admit I couldn’t thinking about it as I wrote it.]