This stunning time-lapse video of the skies over Mother Earth is reminiscent of last year's captivating views of the Milky Way. The location for this one is the northern United States, North Dakota to be exact.
Here can be seen explosions of the aurora borealis, the occasional streaking meteor (think Tecumseh) and, most striking, our own Milky Way galaxy as you've never seen it before. It's what the ancestors doubtless could see before the advent of urban lighting.
"In Cree, the Milky Way is called Neepin Pinesisuk Meskinaw, the summer birds path. Niska the goose or Wahpasiw the swan (the constellation Cygnus) and other birds follow this path when they migrate south and back north," writes Jane Houston Jones on NASA's Solar System Exploration site. "In Ojibway this is Pinesi Miikana, the Thunder Bird's Path. Other stories call it the Wolves Road and others call it 'maskinaw atchakuk,' the path of souls."
Here's some more Milky Way trivia, this batch from the Cherokee.
The video below was shot by Randy Halverson, owner of Dakotalapse. The score was composed by Bear McCreary,who wrote music for Battlestar Galactica, The Walking Dead, Eureka and other television shows.
"What you see is real, but you can’t see it this way with the naked eye," Halverson wrote on his website. "It is the result of 20-30 second exposures edited together over many hours to produce the timelapse. This allows you to see the Milky Way, Aurora and other phenomena, in ways you wouldn’t normally see them."
The northern lights depicted were visible in Wisconsin on October 24, 2011, and in South Dakota on September 26 and 27, according to Space.com. Halverson offers a 23-minute version for sale on his website.