Devils Tower Star Trails

May 24, 2014


Photographer: Victoria Weeks   
Summary Authors:
Victoria Weeks; Jackie Phillips

The exact geological process that created Devils Tower is still in debate. However, it's agreed that this igneous rock formation is a cooled volcanic plug. The more resistant igneous rock erodes at a slower rate than the surrounding material resulting in the tower-like formation. Devils Tower, known as Bear Lodge by the Lakota, is considered sacred to tribes in the area.

In this frame, Devils Tower is lit by a 99 percent full Moon, and the brightness of the reflected light easily overpowers the stars. Through the course of time-lapse, stars are composited 69 times to create the star trail effect. In the actual video, you can watch the trails as they grow.

Photo Details: Canon EOS 5D Mark III camera; Canon 24-105 mm EF f/4 lens; Canon remote controller to capture the original photographs; Adobe After Effects to composite the stars into trails and create the time-lapse sequence from over 500 individual images.