Have you ever wondered what the night sky looks like through the eyes of a pilot? A stunning time-lapse shows the incredible view from the cockpit during a redeye flight from Zurich, Switzerland to Sao Paolo, Brazil.
Shot by the pilot Sales Wick, who doubles as a photographer and film producer, the time-lapse is both a data visualization and a stunning piece of photography. Wick uses graphic overlays to point out the lights of Palma de Mallorca, a city in Spain, glowing beneath a glorious Milky Way. Outside the range of light pollution, the stars of the galaxy are startlingly bright. Soon, you can see the light of Algiers, Algeria, fade into the darkness of the Sahara desert as the plane flies over Africa. It’s possible to see many moving pinpricks of light against the great Milky Way backdrop. Some are planes, but others are shooting stars. “Tonight will be a special night since it’s one of the few nights every August where countless shooting stars will be seen all over the night sky,” Wick writes on his website. “Deriving from the constellation of Perseus, these meteor showers will guide us through the night.”
Wick calls out geographical details with simple graphics, from the lights of Dakar to the Atlantic ocean. Soon, a glow appears on the bottom half of the screen–it’s the landing lights, which “say hello to the other pilots,” the video explains. “Ahead of us are another eight hours flight time, but we already stopped counting the shooting stars,” Wick writes. “And we got already to a few hundred.”
Piloting a redeye doesn’t sound so bad when you have a view like this.