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Starry Night of Alamut

By: Babak A. Tafreshi

 

Region: Middle East

Site: Alamut Valley - Iran

Date: May 2010

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As seen on Astronomy Picture of the Day and the National Geographic News a meteor's streak and the arc of the Milky Way hang over the imposing mountain fortress of Alamut in this starry scene. Located in the central Alborz Mountains of Iran, Alamut Castle (2160 m) was built into the rock in the 9th century. The name means Eagle's Nest. Home of the legendary Assassins featured in the adventure movie Prince of Persia, Alamut was also historically a center for libraries and education. For a time, it was the residence of important 13th century Persian scholar and astronomer Nasir al-Din al-Tusi (or simply known as Tusi). To identify the stars and important celestial features click on the constellation icon above the image. Highlights include bright white stars Deneb (in Cygnus), Vega, and Altair, nebulae near the Galactic Center, and the dark obscuring dust clouds of the Milky Way also known as the Great Rift. Lights at the lower right are from small villages and the capital Tehran, over 100 kilometers away to the southwest. Babak Tafreshi/Dreamview.net

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