The Beauty of SETI’s Search for Alien Life
Filmmakers Harun Mehmedinovic and Gavin Heffernan set up their cameras where Earth’s beauty is a backdrop for the desire to reach extraterrestrial lands.
Their latest time-lapse video, “Dish Dance,” was shot at radio astronomy facilities used by the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) program—the Very Large Array Observatory in New Mexico, the Owens Valley Observatory in California, and the Green Bank Observatory in West Virginia.
The sky behind a radio telescope lights up with a fiery diffusion reminiscent of an alien encounter. A choreographed dance of radio dishes lends grace to the heavy machinery.
Open patches of sky encompassed by clouds skitter across the horizon like UFOs. Storm clouds muffle the sky, and a radio dish turns its face upwards as though straining its ears to the messages beyond.
The dishes take on an almost human disposition. They are like sentient, curious robots examining the natural beauty of Earth while penetrating the cosmos above.
Stars swirl, turning the sky into a giant spinning record; the radio dish is the needle drawing forth the otherworldly music.