Night Sky Comes Alive in Breathtaking Time-Lapse Video 'Ancients'

The pristine night sky — chock full of gleaming stars and awe-inspiring views of our Milky Way galaxy — comes to life in a magnificent time-lapse video shot from northern Chile.

The amazing time-lapse video of the cosmos above Chile traces the cycle of sunset to night to sunrise, with incredible shots of the starry night sky. The video was painstakingly created by filmmaker Nicholas Buer, who entitled it "Ancients."

"Time-lapse astrophotography is actually a fairly simple process," Buer told in an email. "With a little prior knowledge of the night sky and how the constellations move throughout the year, anyone can take successful time-lapse of our home galaxy."

A stunning view from the Atacama region of Chile, taken from a time-lapse video created by Nicholas Buer. (Image credit: Nicholas Buer)

The Atacama Desert in Chile is one of the best places in the world for astronomical observations. The region's high altitude and extreme dryness, which ensure less moisture in the air to refract incoming light from the cosmos, provide excellent conditions for amateur and professional astronomers. The region is home to several telescopes and facilities operated by the European Southern Observatory because of its amazingly clear night sky.

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Buer captured the footage over 12 days, from San Pedro de Atacama, a small oasis town in northern Chile."Each second in this video is the result of 15 minutes of real time, but staring at stars for hours on end is a nice way to pass the time, if you ask me!" Buer said.

Editor's note: If you have an amazing night sky photo or video you'd like to share for a possible story or image gallery, please contact managing editor Tariq Malik at

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Denise Chow
Live Science Contributor

Denise Chow was the assistant managing editor at Live Science before moving to NBC News as a science reporter, where she focuses on general science and climate change. Before joining the Live Science team in 2013, she spent two years as a staff writer for, writing about rocket launches and covering NASA's final three space shuttle missions. A Canadian transplant, Denise has a bachelor's degree from the University of Toronto, and a master's degree in journalism from New York University.