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Star trails over CFH Telescope

By: Richard Wainscoat

 

Mauna Kea Observatory, Hawaii, USA

 

From the photographer: "Star trails over the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, located at Mauna Kea Observatory in Hawaii. The camera shutter was left open for the entire night to create this photograph, which shows the stars in the sky creating circular trails in the sky, centered around the North Celestial Pole. The short bright trail near the center of rotation is Polaris, commonly referred to as the 'pole star.' Polaris was actually about three quarters of a degree from the North Celestial Pole when this photo was taken. Because the axis of the Earth's orbit is a slow procession (like a spinning top) the location of the North Celestial Pole gradually moves across the sky over time. The North Celestial Pole will move slowly closer to Polaris over the next 100 years, and then move further away. The red glow to the northeast is from sunrise. The circular trails around the base of the telescope dome are from vehicle lights. The lights from the town of Honoka`a can be seen in the distance to the north of the observatory." - Richard Wainscoat

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