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Comment: Google Pixel’s astrophotography time-lapses were the best surprise during the Northern Lights

1 month ago 100

Over the weekend the Northern Lights – aurora borealis – were visible from huge portions of the globe, including my own home in North Carolina. I never imagined I’d be able to capture photos of the Northern Lights from my own backyard, but an even better surprise were the time-lapses my Google Pixel 8 Pro captured.

Night Sight and its astrophotography capabilities are a handy function of owning a Google Pixel smartphone, but I haven’t used the latter a ton since it debuted back on 2019’s Pixel 4 series. I really enjoyed the feature, but I just didn’t find myself needing it all that much after the initial excitement wore off.

But the feature was invaluable in capturing photos of aurora borealis the other night.

The shots my Pixel took showed the glow of the night sky far better than my own eyes could, and I was in eager anticipation for the four-minute captures to be ready every time and so happy with the results. It wasn’t until later when I went to share those photos, though, that the Pixel’s little surprise made the night even better.

Alongside the finished still photos, my Pixel had captured a time-lapse of the Northern Lights, showing the lights dancing through the sky. It really showed the beauty of the phenomenon in a way that I didn’t expect at all to see, simply because I’d completely forgotten that this feature was on my phone.

Google added this functionality way back in 2021 alongside the Pixel 6 series. I, like many others I presume, just completely forgot it was an automatic thing. Every astrophotography shot also captures a time-lapse, which led to some other neat shots when I tried (but failed) to take more images the following night.

The idea of a time-lapse captured by your phone isn’t new, and it’s not like you can’t manually do this either. In fact, with the launch of the Pixel 8 series, Google also introduced support for manual timelapse captures using Night Sight, speeding up the process of capturing these shots. But during astrophotography, where this happens automatically, it’s just so delightful and really reinforces why I love the Pixel camera so much – it’s just so good at its job.

One of our readers, Mike, also shared on Twitter/X a trio of timelapses captured by his Pixel which show this even better.

Did you capture the Northern Lights using your Pixel? Share your favorite shots in the comments below!

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