Aug 31, 2009

Time Lapse of the CA Fires

Time Lapse Test: Station Fire from Eric Spiegelman on Vimeo.

I saw this video first over at Boing Boing, but I decided to repost from the original site, Vimeo. It's an amazing - and amazingly short - portrayal of what happens when these fires take over the countryside.

One of the saddest aspects of this particular fire - beyond the mega devastation it's causing, of course - is the fact that it's on the verge of burning down one of the country's oldest observatories, atop Mount Wilson in Southern California. New Scientist describes its importance best in a few short sentences:

Located at an altitude of 1740 metres, Mount Wilson Observatory got its start in 1904 when George Ellery Hale signed a free, 99-year lease for 40 acres at the summit to build world-class telescopes.

Then Hale erected the Snow Solar Telescope (1905), a 60-inch reflector (the world's largest when completed in 1908), the 150-foot Solar Tower, and finally the 100-inch Hooker Telescope (1918), which Edwin Hubble used to discover that the universe is expanding.

It's almost hard to believe that something so beautiful can, at the same time, be so utterly destructive.

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