It took 7 years for Thomas O’Brien to create this masterpiece footage, a collection of photos displaying the meteor showers over Aspen, Colorado spanning a stretch of 7 years. Every night that you look up at the sky slightly different scenery presents itself. The only way to see the real beauty in this diversity is to piece together photos over a long period of time.
Here are some of the photos used in O’Brian’s time lapse, although nothing compares to the way he pieces it all together in his time-lapse video posted below.
At only 15-years old Thomas already picked up a camera and started taking photos of the world around him, even long before this he took up a love for nature and the outdoors. Growing up in Stowe Vermont, Thomas explored the surrounding mountainsides whenever he got the chance.
Not only is Thomas artistic, but also he is athletic. In college he was a member of the US Snowboard Team and raced his way to the World Cup from 1993-1999. He was ranked 13th in the world for his sport. Now, post-college days, Thomas is more focused on his art and photography.
Thomas is especially interested in taking incredibly high-resolution photos of the night sky–which isn’t easy to do, certainly the iPhone is not capable of doing this. Thomas has used time-lapse photography to represent the beautiful night sky in both Utah and Aspen. Thomas has actually called Aspen, Colorado home for 10-years now, making this project in particular extra special to his heart.
O’Brian’s photos are not just of the night sky but many of his images focus on shooting stars and meteor showers seen throughout the years from some of the most amazing spots in Aspen, Colorado. Meteor showers are awesome to witness, and occur when cosmic dust particles, comets, and asteroids fall into Earth’s atmosphere at incredibly fast speeds.
When these fast moving particles enter our atmosphere, they collide with earthly particles creating friction that heats up the meteors to well over 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit. When this heat is vaporized it creates a shooting star, which typically becomes visible to us on earth when it is around 60 miles up in the sky.
Larger meteors can actually splatter from the explosion, this creates what is known as a fireball. Fireballs can not only be seen, but they can also be heard from as much as 30 miles away. Most meteors are incredibly tiny though, weighing as little as a speck of sand.
Meteorites are so large they actually reach earth’s surface. While most meteor showers are safe, some meteors can explode right above earth’s surface, creating a lot of damage and destruction. This is what happened in 1908 in Siberia, and is known as the Tunguska event.
On clear nights in places with no city lights, meteors create a show only Mother Nature is capable of creating. Most nights meteor showers are isolated events, but once in a while we are blessed with hundreds of meteors showering down at once, creating a very magical light show in the sky.
Today, Thomas’ work has been published by many famous publications including ESPN, The Daily Mail, Budweiser, HBO, Yahoo News, and many more. He works as a Freelance photographer and he also teaches private and group lessons about capturing the perfect picture.
No matter what project O’Brian is focusing on, his work is incredibly breathtaking. Perhaps though his time-lapse photos are perhaps among his most amazing work.
While all of these images are spectacular on their own, they are 100 times more incredible when put together in this time-lapse video.
See the full time lapse video by Thomas O’Brian here:
Photo and video credit: Thomas O’Brien