w.m. Keck Observatory and Video

Video and Sculpture
National Academy of Sciences

The W. M. Keck Observatory in Mauna Kea Hawaii is the world's largest telescope. Its twin observatories can work together or separately, and since its inception it has enabled astronomers to closely observe the rings of Uranus, identify volatile compounds in comets within our solar system, and even discover planets beyond our own solar system.

To demonstrate the power and beauty of the observatory, we produced a singular video that plays in the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). We went on location for three days to shoot the breathtaking footage that captures the strength, grace, and incredibly complex engineering of the Keck. The final video features time-lapse photography of the 8-story-tall telescopes tracking planets across the sky, the inner and outer-workings of the structure, including the unique and beautiful 10-meter reflective mirrors (made from 36 separate hexagonal segments), and aerial shots taken from a helicopter using a gyroscopically mounted camera. We faced elevation sickness and dangerous, high-speed winds to capture the footage.

Situated next to the video is a perfect scale model of the twin telescopes, including both sets of 36 segmented mirrors, which we painstakingly built to allow visitors the chance to peer inside this incredibly complex and beautiful structure. 

Please view the corresponding online exhibit for more details >

Related projects:
NY Time Lapse

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