The animation shows the stars as they would appear from the exact location you choose on the night that you choose. It also shows the planets and the Moon in their correct positions with the Moon in its correct phase. Our original software uses the same highly accurate star catalogs that are used for astronomical research (one of us is an astrophysicist!). You can check the accuracy of our work by using free planetarium software such as Stellarium.
The music is created by converting the color and brightness of the stars into music through a process called sonification. We choose from among the stars and constellations that are visible at each moment and use an algotihm to communicate the color and brightness of the stars through sound. The pitch of the notes is determined by the colour and temperature of the stars. Redder stars, which are cooler, produce lower notes while bluer stars, which are hotter, produce higher notes. The volume of each note is controlled by the brightness of each star with brighter stars producing louder notes. Sonifications such as this can help people who are blind or visually impaired experience the night sky.
Depending on the location and date, different stars and constellations will be visible. Among these, a unique pattern of stars and constellations are highlighted. Since the music is controlled by the highlighted stars, the melody is unique for each video. The locations of the planets and the Moon will also be different on different nights. Using our interactive order form, you also get to add your personal touch by adding a title that appears at the beginning and a message that appears at the end.
Processing the music and rendering high resolution animations takes time and we are currently unable to provide sample videos for your chosen night and location. You can get a sense of what your video will look and sound like by viewing the sample videos posted on our home page.
When your video is completed, you will receive an email with 3 buttons. Pressing one button will let you watch your video immediately while the other two will let you download the video to your device in two different sizes so you can enjoy it forever.
You will receive an email containing links to your video within 24 hours of when you place your order. If it doesn't arrive please check your spam folders and contact us immediately so that we can resend it.
Once your starry night arrives by email, pressing one of the download buttons will download the video to your device. Apple does not allow direct downloads to iPhones or iPads (unless done through the app store) but you can download the files to any laptop or desktop and then transfer them to your phone through Air Drop or iTunes. You have the option to download a large version which has high resolution and a small version which has normal resolution. The small version may be easier for you to share on social media and will play on almost any device. Some phones may not be able to play the large version of the video because the resolution is too high.
To share the video or gift it to someone else simply forward the email you receive with your starry night to the intended recipient. You can also download it to your device and share it through social media or using a cloud-based service such as Google Drive or OneDrive.