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Milky Way above Easter Island

By: Wally Pacholka

 

Region: Australia and Pacific

Site: Easter Island - Chile

Date: February 2011

This dramatic scene definitely inspired ancient residents of the Easter Island as it amaze us today. Silhouetted against the southern Milky Way and starry sky of this isolated Pacific Ocean island, are large statues, locally called Moais, remained from 13th to 15th century. This world-famous set of statues is known as Ahu Tongariki in the Rapa Nui (Easter Island) National Park, a well deserved World Heritage Site. The patchy clouds on the right are our neighboring satellite galaxies, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, each several billion times the mass of our Sun. The smaller galaxy is the furthest object visible in this view at 200,000 light years away. The picture we are seeing of the galaxy belong to the time when there was no civilization on our planet. Wally Pacholka/Astropics.com

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