A History of the Sky for One Year

Here’s a full year (almost*) version of my History of the Sky project:

Originally I only intended to show the full-year version nice and big as a projected installation, but I think it works well as an online video. However I encourage you to view it full-screen at 1080p! Here’s a direct link.

(* Actually, it’s 360 days, because easier to make a nice rectangle that way.)

A bit more about the project: I installed a custom camera rig on the roof of the Exploratorium museum in SF, which captured an image of the sky every 10 seconds, around the clock, for a year. From these images, I created an array of time-lapse movies, each showing a single day, arranged chronologically, and playing in sync. My intention was to reveal the patterns of light and weather over the course of a year. More info about the project here.

Here are some previous versions I made along the way. They have fewer days, but have better resolution per day. 126 days:

42 days:

Some of my other time-lapse projects:

UPDATE: The Atlantic is featuring this video along with a short interview with me here.

This entry was posted in A History Of The Sky, Time-Lapse. Bookmark the permalink.

57 Responses to A History of the Sky for One Year

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  8. Rebecca says:

    Lovely work. I watched it on my dinky laptop. Will you be showing it anywhere (BIG)?

    • Ken says:

      Thanks! I’ll probably show it at the next Bay Area Maker Faire (usually in May), and hopefully some time before then as well! You can follow me on Twitter (@obeyken) for updates.

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  10. Charity Schrader says:

    Hi, Ken

    Loved your sky time lapse video. Was curious what the music is called you have accompanying your video. Lovely combo? Would like to have the artist name, please.


  11. David says:

    I love your video. Beautiful natural reflection of the sky of the mind. I wonder how it would be with some Phillip Glass. I’m thinking in particular of “Opening” and “Closing” from the CD “Glassworks”. They are even about the same length as your piece.

  12. Ken says:

    David- Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for the suggestions.

  13. Mary says:

    Ken, this work is breathtakingly beautiful, and I thank you for it. I fell into quite a reverie while watching it, and I can’t wait to share it with family and friends. Truly inspiring.

  14. Robert Mann says:

    Ken, This is a *wonderfully* executed idea. Is there any way that you could bring this to the Atlanta, Georgia area? I would love to see it in a gallery or a theatre over here.

  15. Patricia Kitto says:

    Fabulous! It was like getting to lie on your back on a hill somewhere for a whole year! There’s nothing more relaxing, contemplative, and mesmerising than staring up at the sky. Thank you .


    P. S. I got to your site from Flowing Data – FYI

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  17. Hamish says:

    Very lovely. Presumably winter is in the middle of the screen – was that an aesthetic choice? I was expecting 1 Jan to be at the top left!

  18. Sami says:

    Very cool! How about a 12×30 version, so us San Franciscans can get a visual sense of the weather by month??

    • Ken says:

      I actually have a 30×12 version, formatted for two projectors side-by-side. That’s the one I take to galleries, events, etc. It’s about 20′ by 6′.

  19. Pingback: A History of the Sky for One Year – Ken Murphy « Jody Porter

  20. Vassil says:

    This is so beautiful and so interesting, thanks. It seems that in San Francisco 15th of June is the earliest sunrise… I shared it publicly on Google+ if you don’t mind: https://plus.google.com/u/0/114513774850859427000/posts/Tn8UhzdeZZz
    Great work!

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  24. Michael A Martin says:


    I just watched A History of the Sky for One Year on the within the cranium website. Thank you. I would love to see it on a 20′ x 6′ screen at a gallery or event. Do you have any plans to bring your works up to the Seattle area and if so, do you know when that will be? Even Portland or Vancouver, B.C. would work which is easily drivable 3 hours to the south or north of me.

    • Ken says:

      Glad you like it! No plans right now, but I’m always looking for opportunities to show it, and if I make it up that way, I’ll announce it here and on my twitter (@obeyken).

  25. Diego says:

    It’s an amazing work, i saw it in a newspaper. Thanks for share it,

    Diego, Argentina

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  36. Reza says:

    Hey ken,

    Awesome video, saw it first at CreateFixate, we chatted for a few minutes after. Was a pleasure to meet you also.

    Any plans on releasing the video for purchase on a DVD etc?



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