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A Heavenly Bridge above Easter Island

By: Wally Pacholka

 

Region: Australia and Pacific

Site: Easter Island - Chile

Date: March 2011

This scene definitely inspired ancient residents of this isolated Pacific Ocean island as it amazes us today. Standing against the southern Milky Way 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 cloud below the Milky Way is our neighboring satellite galaxy, the Large Magellanic Clouds, about 160,000 light years away. The picture we are seeing of the galaxy belong to the time when there was no civilization on our planet. As noted by the photographer "The Milky Way links Aku Tongariki statues with Rano Raraku Volcanic Crater & Stone Quarry. Rapa Nui discovered by European explorers in 1722 and renamed Easter island. It is the most remote inhabited island on the Earth, hosting some 887 "Moai" stone statues carved from the Rano Raraku Volcanic Crater stone quarry on the right. The largest statue on the island is also located in this view which weights 86 tons. The statues here were placed on Ahu or stone platforms. in the platforms large round stones with smaller round stones [left of center] in between were used as burial sites for the ashes of relatives and are often guarded as sacred burial grounds even today. Wally Pacholka/Astropics.com

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