When this flight paths of starlings video by artist and professor Dennis Hlynsky went viral, it sparked a lot of questions for us: How did he make the visualizations? How do the starlings move quickly as a flock? What makes other groups of animals move the way they do?
In Micromigrations from The Atlantic, Hlynsky discusses his own questions as we observe the water striders, ants, starlings, vultures, crows, and little white flying bugs that continue to inspire his curiosity and his work.
Watch starlings videos and explore more about the way animals (and robots) move, including water striders, cheetahs, cats, snakes, and hummingbirds.
Watch the flight paths of starlings as they make computer-assisted trails across the sky above the Seekonk Speedway in Massachusetts. Artist Dennis Hlynsky filmed them (and others) with a Lumix GH2 and then used After Effects to make their paths more visible from their own visually-echoed image. A time-lapse of sorts…
Related watching: swarms.
What did Mars look like 4 billion years ago? The team at NASA’s Conceptual Image Lab have an idea based on the existing evidence:
Billions of years ago when the Red Planet was young, it appears to have had a thick atmosphere that was warm enough to support oceans of liquid water - a critical ingredient for life. The animation shows how the surface of Mars might have appeared during this ancient clement period, beginning with a flyover of a Martian lake. The artist’s concept is based on evidence that Mars was once very different. Rapidly moving clouds suggest the passage of time, and the shift from a warm and wet to a cold and dry climate is shown as the animation progresses. The lakes dry up, while the atmosphere gradually transitions from Earthlike blue skies to the dusty pink and tan hues seen on Mars today.
The animation was released in anticipation of November 18th’s Cape Canaveral launch of MAVEN, Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution mission. MAVEN will explore the planet’s lost atmosphere.
Previously: flying over a topographically accurate landscapes of Mars, and more NASA.