Breathtaking timelapse from the Mauna Kea astronomical observatory

Poli'ahu, the Hawaiian snow goddess who lives atop Mauna Kea, is the namesake for this stunning and inspiring footage from Sunchaser Pictures.

From University of Hawaii:

"Mauna Kea is unique as an astronomical observing site. The atmosphere above the mountain is extremely dry -- which is important in measuring infrared and submillimeter radiation from celestial sources - and cloud-free, so that the proportion of clear nights is among the highest in the world. The exceptional stability of the atmosphere above Mauna Kea permits more detailed studies than are possible elsewhere, while its distance from city lights and a strong island-wide lighting ordinance ensure an extremely dark sky, allowing observation of the faintest galaxies that lie at the very edge of the observable Universe."

Via Sunchaser:

SKYGLOW also explores the numerous towns and sites that IDA has identified as official “Dark-Sky” Communities, Cities, Parks, Reserves and Sanctuaries.
Light pollution (aka “skyglow”) affects human health, animal migratory patterns, obstructs astronomy research and leads to over two billion dollars of lost energy every year in the USA. The book includes original essays on the subject from key science voices like BAD ASTRONOMY blogger / author Phil Plait, Eric Betz of ASTRONOMY MAGAZINE, and night sky crusader / poster artist Tyler Nordgren.

Here's a trailer:

Learn more about dark skies activism at their SKYGLOW site.

Poli'ahu (Vimeo / Sunchaser Pictures)