The desolate landscape of the Mojave Desert in the American Southwest contains the hottest and lowest place in North America—Death Valley.
But, says filmmaker Harun Mehmedinovic, “This apparently dead place is merely dormant.”
On rare occasions, storms stir the dust and meteors streak the sky, bringing the desert and its ghost towns to life.
In a time-lapse film titled “Mojave Blues,” Mehmedinovic accentuated the desert’s strangely shaped Joshua trees, dove into the burgeoning storm, rode Route 66, and swirled with the stars.
At 1:52 you will see a Perseids meteor streak through the sky, explode, and burn out.
At 2:40 is a rare sighting of early morning zodiacal light. Zociacal light is a glow in the night sky extending up from the ecliptic, the path of the sun. It makes some nights bright even when the moonlight is dim.
Parts of the desert are incredibly free of urban light pollution, allowing Mehmedinovic to capture the cosmos in its glory.
The video is part of SKYGLOW, an ongoing crowdfunded quest to explore the effects and dangers of urban light pollution. It premiered on BBC Earth.