In reality, the flight lasted about 11 hours, taking off from California at 3:35 p.m. local time, crossing over Greenland at night, and landing in France at 11:10 a.m. local time.
But instead of packing books and B-movies, Bolt came prepared with a unique form of onboard entertainment: time-lapse photography equipment.
With a whole row to himself, Bolt had lots of room to set up a digital SLR camera, a tripod, and a time-lapse controller, arranged to take pictures out the plane window every 2 to 30 seconds, depending on exposure time. That’s about a picture every two miles, Bolt calculates.
In total he racked up 2,459 still frames that, when strung together, result in a two-minute movie of the world going by.
This is pretty cool in and of itself. But in the dark of night Bolt got an even cooler surprise: a vivid green aurora borealis.
The photographer said couldn’t see the northern lights with his naked eyes, according to The Christian Science Monitor. But when he previewed the long-exposure shots on his camera, the auroras leapt from the LCD screen.
With some viewers wondering how Bolt saw northern lights from a south-facing window, he replied in his YouTube comments:
“Basically, SF to Paris takes you over Greenland and the Arctic Circle, because that’s the straightest route (crazy, I know), so from that location and flying altitude, you can see northern lights from both sides of the plane.”