Get curated editors’ picks, peeks behind the scenes, film recommendations and more.
The Japanese weather satellite Himawari-8 was launched in 2014 for a planned eight-year mission to collect forecasting, weather-monitoring and research data. For his experimental short A Year Along the Geostationary Orbit, the German filmmaker Felix Dierich used Himawari-8 data made publicly available by the Japanese and Australian governments to craft a timelapse that condenses one year into 16 stunning minutes. Orbiting some 20,000 miles above the Earth – much further than the International Space Station (245 miles) yet much closer than the Moon (c238,900 miles) – while perpetually fixed over the Eastern Hemisphere, Himawari-8 provides a unique perspective on the planet and its weather patterns. With the film’s haunting soundtrack and swirling imagery, it’s easy to get lost in the hypnotic clouds and forget that below them is half of humanity, rendered almost entirely invisible by the distance.
Video by Felix Dierich
Website: A Year Along the Geostationary Orbit
Even in modern secular societies, belief in an afterlife persists. Why?
Nature and landscape
Take a serene hike through an ancient forest, inspired by a Miyazaki masterpiece
Design and fashion
The mundane becomes mesmerising in this deep dive into segmented displays
A song of ice, fire and jelly – exploring the physics and history of the trumpet
Animals and humans
An artist and ants collaborate on an exhibit of ‘tiny Abstract Expressionist paintings’
How a curious question about colouring maps changed mathematics forever
A dreamy tribute to the music of Brian Eno, rendered in paint, soap and water
To understand how an animal sees the world, start with the shape of its pupils
Technology and the self
Why we should worry less about ‘sentient’ AIs and more about what we’re teaching them