First Results from the ESO Ultra HD Expedition
9 May 2014
The ESO Ultra HD Expedition may now be over, but there is much work being done behind-the-scenes to process and combine all the footage the team has taken — a staggering 10 TB of images and video. With four times the resolution of HD, Ultra HD takes our view of the night sky into a new, immersive dimension. The expedition team can now present some of their first results in dramatic Ultra HD footage — bringing the Universe closer than ever before.
While the production of Ultra HD TV displays and cameras has flourished, very little Ultra HD content has been made universally available until now. ESO is now changing this by delivering free Ultra HD content to all, from consumer to broadcaster, under a very liberal licensing model.
A little over a month ago, ESO’s videographer Herbert Zodet and the three ESO Photo Ambassadors: Yuri Beletsky, Christoph Malin and Babak Tafreshi embarked on their expedition to Chile with the goal of capturing footage at ESO’s three observing sites in all their grandeur — using state-of-the-art Ultra HD tools .
First the team visited ESO’s Paranal Observatory in northern Chile, home to the Very Large Telescope array (VLT) — ESO’s flagship facility for European ground-based astronomy. They then drove to ALMA, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array — a huge new facility at 5000 metres above sea level on the Chajnantor Plateau, dedicated to studying the cool Universe. Finally, the team headed to La Silla, ESO’s first observatory — home to the ESO 3.6-metre telescope and the 3.58-metre New Technology Telescope .
The team created a wide range of content including time-lapses, stills and panoramas in Ultra HD quality — as well as time-lapses and stills in planetarium fulldome format — footage which will be used in fulldome planetarium shows in the ESO Supernova facility from 2017. The almost perfect atmospheric conditions at each of the sites provided crystal-clear views of the night sky, further enhancing this visually stunning production.
A number of impressive videos and photos are now being released, and some linked to this Announcement in the right sidebar. Direct links for more of the first results from the expedition are here:
- For media and others:
- For use for broadcasters the expedition is captured in a five UHD compilations featuring:
- For planetarium producers:
Much more is in the pipeline, so stay tuned for much more ultra HD content over the coming weeks. The very best images will be released as ESO Pictures of the Week over the coming months. Also look out for the upcoming ESOcast about the ESO Ultra HD Expedition.
 Equipment included: Vixen Optics Polarie Star Tracker, Canon® EOS-1D C camera, Stage One Dolly and eMotimo TB3 3-axis motion control camera robot, Angelbird SSD2go, LRTimelapse software. Peli™ Cases, 4K PC workstations from Magic Multimedia, Novoflex QuadroPod system, Intecro batteries and Granite Bay Software.
The ESO Ultra HD Expedition was supported by the following technology partners: Canon, Kids of All Ages, Novoflex, Angelbird, Sharp, Vixen, eMotimo, Peli, Magic Multi Media, LRTimelapse, Intecro and Granite Bay Software. Information on the expedition’s technology partners can be found here.
- ESO Ultra HD blog
- Introducing the ESO Ultra HD Expedition
- Read more about the Expedition in the PDF brochure (26.7 MB)
- Direct links to the UHD products:
ESO, La Silla, Paranal and E-ELT Press Officer
Garching bei München, Germany
Tel: +49 89 3200 6655
About the Announcement