Starry Sky during Totality

By: Mahdi Zamani


Seyed Abad, Firouzkoh, Tehran, Iran

2011 June 15


From the photographer: "How many stars can you recognize in the sky while the moon is visible in its full phase? Normally, only a handful. One exception was during the first lunar eclipse of this year when I captured the above panorama which shows the ruddy-colored totally eclipsed moon appearing just near the bright center of our Milky Way, seen here at the right side of the galaxy's arching band of stars!" - Mahdi Zamani

Editor's note: Panoramic images of the night sky often show the Milky Way as a band of stars arching across the image from one side to the other. In reality, this band of stars is actually linear in appearance, usually spanning across the sky from opposite horizons. These kinds of photographs often compress up to a 360-degree horizon into a flat rectangular image. In doing so, the geometry of the real sky will appear artificially distorted. A good example of this distortion effect would be a wide-angle photograph with tall buildings or trees on either side of the composition. They will appear to bend - or arch - towards the center when, in reality, they're all standing straight up.

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