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Cosmic Explorer

By: Nik Szymanek

 

Region: Europe

Site: La Palma - Spain

Date: June 2011

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As the night arrives over La Palma, Canary Islands, an ocean of stars appears above the cloud-covered island. Here at altitude of 2400 meters Roque de los Muchachos observatory is above the clouds. Some of the world-leading large telescopes are located at this mountain top including the 4.2 meter William Herschel Telescope which is pictured here. The zodiacal light (sunlight reflection from dust in the solar system plane) is strongly visible over the west along the ecliptic while the remaining glow of the twilight dominates the horizon where the crescent Moon is visible. Higher up is the head of constellation Gemini with it's two bright stars Castor and Pollux and a little higher is the the notable star cluster M44 in Cancer, known as the Beehive. Click on the star-pattern icon above the image to see a different frame of this scene in non-panoramic format. Nik Szymanek/Ccdland.net

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