The very name “Death Valley” can conjure mental images of an empty, desolate wasteland that stretches for miles on end. In our mind’s eye, it is easy to envision the place as a lifeless expanse of land that has little to offer anyone who is unfortunate enough to visit the place. In reality, that misconception couldn’t be further from the truth and Death Valley National Park can be a rewarding and beautiful place for those who are willing to explore its more than 3.3 million acres of wilderness.
Don’t believe me? Check out the time-lapse video below, which comes our way courtesy of Sunchaser Pictures. They recently went on location in Death Valley to capture some of its awe-inspiring landscapes. What they discovered was a place that was beautiful in an otherworldly way and yet incredibly compelling at the same time.
The producers of this short film recommend you watch it in high definition and with a pair of headphones on, but no matter how you choose to view the video, I think you’ll be amazed at what you’ll see.
“DEATH VALLEY DREAMLAPSE 2” from Sunchaser Pictures on Vimeo.
Death Valley National Park may look otherworldly at times but this weekend it will actually play host to an event that is definitely out of this world.
The second annual MarsFest will take place in the park starting Friday, March 1, running through Sunday, March 3. The event is designed to allow scientists and space enthusiasts to interact with one another as they jointly explore the possibilities of space exploration, something that Death Valley has played a crucial role in for decades.
Because of the extreme environments and conditions that exist in the Valley, it has long served as a testing ground for new gear and equipment for NASA. The park is often used to simulate hostile alien environments such as those founds on the surface of Mars. In fact, many of the instruments that are currently in use on the Curiosity Rover were first put through their paces in Death Valley. Attendees of MarsFest will get to see just how NASA uses Death Valley as a proving ground before sending their multi-million dollar equipment into space.
The three-day festival has a full schedule of events on tap, including field trips to a variety of locations inside the park, guest lectures from scientists and guided hikes to remote locations. A daylong expo with informational booths will provide demonstrations of some of the delicate instruments used by NASA, while panel discussions on the future of space travel should prove enlightening as well.
If you’re interested in attending MarsFest 2013 click here for more details.
[Photo Credit: NASA]
Want to see Redwood National Park but don’t have the time or money to make the trip? How about Yosemite or Death Valley? Thanks to the graciously, life-improving, expanding Internet, you can now take a stroll through five California national parks right on Google Street View. The Official Google Blog outlines this new step. While seeing these monumental landscapes in person cannot be replicated online, there is something especially majestic about gazing through the Redwoods on your Street View. Perhaps you’ll like the view enough to make the actual trip one day.