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The Astrum

This is a short trailer of the 30+ minutes of timelapse I shot in 2020 at locations in South Dakota, Wyoming and Arizona. It was shot with Nikon D850 cameras in still mode and rendered at 8K resolution. My past features have aired on the DirecTV 4K channel, a few are on Stingray Naturescape on Youtube.

The Astrum feature may be available as a download in the future.

:30-:49 is Comet Neowise

Music “The Trailer” by Jeffrey Peterson. Licensed through 8K footage available for licensing.

SpaceX Starlink satellites are visible in parking orbit right after the Feb 17, 2020 launch in several of the shots. They look like scattered stars that aren’t moving across the sky. Normally satellites will streak across the sky in timelapse, Starlink do too once they are in operational orbit.

1:40 to the left of the saguaro

2:27 to the left of cactus.

2:43 lower left 1/4 of the frame

Aurora and Meteor with persistent train

November 7th, 2015 near Rapid City, South Dakota. I caught the meteor with several cameras that were shooting timelapse of the Aurora. The persistent train lasted about 15 minutes in real time. The first shot is a cropped view from one of the cameras, the meteor is in the upper right on the wide shots and goes through Ursa Major.

Music by Simon Wilkinson

Meteor with persistent train
Meteor with persistent train

Meteor with persistent train

Persistent Train
Persistent Train

Persistent Train
Persistent Train


Final Boost Stage – 4K UHD

satellite launch final burn stage


Cropped view of satellite and stage burn.
Cropped view of satellite and burn stage.

Final Boost Stage on Youtube. Be sure to read description and click HD or UHD and watch full screen.

On July 28th, 2014, I was set up to shoot the Milky Way near Kennebec, South Dakota.  I was shooting a Canon 5D Mark III with a Nikon 14-24 lens on an eMotimo TB3 mounted on a Dynamic Perception Stage Zero Dolly. I had looked through some of the stills but didn’t notice anything unusual. In December 2014 I was editing timelapse that had been shot during the year. When I got to the July 28th sequence I noticed something different on it. At first I thought it was another meteor with persistent train, but I had missed the meteor in between exposures. I had already caught several meteor with persistent trains on timelapse last year, so I was watching for them. Then I looked closer and noticed the flash was dimming and getting brighter. Also, when I zoomed in I could see a satellite or object right before the first flash. I searched and found the the GSSAP and ANGELS satellites had launched on July 28th at 7:28 EDT.

I emailed Mark “Indy” Kochte who works on the Mercury MESSENGER program. He showed it to his colleagues Nick Pinkine and James Hudson (Solar Probe Pluse Mission Ops Manager and MESSENGER Mission Analyst) and they agreed that it was the AFRL ANGELS satellite burning it’s final boost stage.

The first flash you see on the timelapse happened at 1:09am July 29th (camera time) so that also seems to match up with the timing for the final burn the article mentions. You will also see many other satellites moving through the cropped timelapse, there are also some geostationary ones.

Camera Settings: 30 second exposure with 3 second interval, ISO 6400, F2.8

Music by Simon Wilkinson at



Sprites, Gravity Waves, Airglow and Aurora






On August 20th, 2014 I timelapsed a storm over central South Dakota with multiple cameras. I left for Wyoming without looking at most of the frames. I saw a post by Tom Warner about Sprites he caught on the same storm. Sprites are large scale electrical discharges that occur high above clouds.

When I got back I went through the frames and found 7 with Sprites in them. I didn’t post 2 of them because they are very faint. The Sprites are only 1 frame each, so they will be a quick flash of red near the right side above the storm. The green Airglow is rippled by Gravity Waves, (gravity waves are not the same as gravitational waves) some faint Aurora moves in towards the end of the sequences, on the right side before the clouds cover it up. Thanks to Tom Warner and Dr. Walter Lyons for helping me identify Gravity Waves in my shots. Dr. Lyons also shared a link that will help identify which storms may have Sprites. Look for a large red cross on the map.

See the timelapse of the storm below, and more images in the gallery.

Sprites, Gravity Waves and Airglow from Randy Halverson on Vimeo.

Music By Simon Wilkinson


The Sprites are the red discharges above the storm on the right side. The gravity waves are the ripples you see in the airglow.

Sprite with Airglow and Gravity Waves over South Dakota
Sprite with Airglow and Gravity Waves over South Dakota


Sprite with Airglow and Gravity Waves over South Dakota
Sprite with Airglow and Gravity Waves over South Dakota



Gallery of Sprites and Gravity Waves – Click to enlarge.



Dakotalapse 2013 Top Photos




10 of my favorite stills from 2013. Most of these were taken from timelapse. Click arrows to navigate, click on photo to enlarge. Some of these are available as prints here.

See other stills from 2013 on this page.