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 an hour and a half, 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.