NASA Releases 12-Year Time-Lapse of the Entire Sky
When you look up into the sky, it seems as though not much changes save for the phases of the moon. But our cosmos is more active than we can ever imagine, and in a bid to its beauty, NASA has created a staggering time-lapse video of the entire sky over 12 years to show us how the universe is constantly changing.
The science and other stuff to know
Every six months, NASA’s Near-Earth Object Wide Field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) completes one trip halfway around the sun. As it obits, it takes pictures of the location and brightness of hundreds of millions of objects. NASA then stitches those photos to create an “all-sky” map.
Now, with more than 10 years of all-sky data since the NEOWISE mission was launched, astronomers currently have 18 all-sky maps. Scientists over at NASA have used these maps and images to create a time-lapse movie of the sky, showing changes that span over a decade. Notably, the video reveals distant objects changing position or brightness across a decade.
“When viewed in sequence as a time-lapse, [the maps] serve as an even stronger resource for trying to better understand the universe,” NASA stated in a press release.
Infrared space telescopes like NEOWISE and the recently activated James Webb Space Telescope can bring far-off, dim objects like asteroids, comets, and even barely luminescent brown dwarf stars that were once unknown to human science into full-living color.