West Virginia is probably best known for coal mines, followed closely by pepperoni rolls. You know aspect of the state doesn’t get nearly enough attention? Its absolutely breathtaking scenery.


Take New River Gorge, the latest under-appreciated American wonder to get a spotlight from astrophotographers Harun Mehmedinovic and Gavin Heffernan, who are running around the country snapping ridiculously pretty pictures of the night sky to raise awareness of light pollution.

New River Gorge is nestled deep in the Appalachians; the oldest mountain range in the world. For the past billion years, this rugged landscape has been slowly crumbling into the Atlantic, building up the massive coastal plain that now supports tens of millions of people. Filmed during the transition from midsummer to late fall, Mehmedinovic and Heffernan’s timelapse video (above) is the perfect homage to the ephemeral nature of life—in a place that’s seen so many different lifeforms come and go over the ages.

And here are a few jaw-dropping still shots from the project—all of which will be included in the crowdfunded astrophotography book SKYGLOW, slated to be published next spring.

This film was shot and edited by Harun Mehmedinović and premiered on BBC Earth


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