Astronomy Picture of the Day – Star Trails above Table Mountain

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2015 June 25

Star Trails above Table Mountain
Image Credit & Copyright:Eric Nathan

 

 

Explanation: Stars trail above and urban lights sprawl below in this moonlit nightscape from Cape Town, South Africa, planet Earth. The looming form of Table Mountain almost seems to hold terrestrial lights at bay while the stars circle the planet’s South Celestial Pole. This modern perspective on the natural night sky was captured in June 2014, the scene composed of over nine hundred, stacked 30 second exposures. The stunning result was chosen as the winner in the Against the Lights category, a selection from over 800 entries in The World at Night’s 2015 International Earth and Sky Photo Contest.

Astronomy Picture of the Day – Auroras and Star Trails over Iceland

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2015 June 16

Auroras and Star Trails over Iceland
Image Credit & Copyright: Vincent Brady

 

Explanation: It was one of the quietest nights of aurora in weeks. Even so, in northern- Iceland during last November, faint auroras lit up the sky every clear night. The featured 360-degree panorama is the digital fusion of four wide-angle cameras each simultaneously taking 101 shots over 42 minutes. In the foreground is serene Lake Myvatn dotted with picturesque rock formations left over from ancient lava flows. Low green auroras sweep across the sky above showing impressive complexity near the horizon. Stars far in the distance appear to show unusual trails — as the Earth turned — because early exposures were artificially faded.