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.
2006 December 2
Explanation: In myth, Atlas holds up the heavens, but in this stunning view a mountain appears to serve as the southern night sky pivots around a snowy peak. Recorded during a climbing expedition at an altitude above 19,000 feet (temperature -18 degrees C), the picture places the South Celestial Pole over the Andes mountain Ojos del Salado. Topping out at over 22,000 feet, the Ojos del Salado is a stratovolcano, the highest active volcano on planet Earth. The time exposure lasted for an hour, recording the graceful arcing star trails along with the rising Milky Way (left) and setting Magellanic clouds.
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NASA Official: Phil Newman Specific rights apply.
A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.