Alamut Winter Sky

By: Tunc Tezel


Region: Middle East

Site: Alamut Valley - Iran

Date: 2014 Feb 25


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Bright winter stars appear above mountain fortress of Alamut, next to the village of Gazor Khan in the central Alborz Mountains of Iran. The brightest point in the sky in fact not a star but the dazzling light of Jupiter, in the constellation Gemini. To its lower right Orion, the Hunter, stands high in this February evening. Sirius, the brightest star in the Earth night sky, is below it. The light of Karaj and Tehran over 100km away is masked by the mountains but brightens the horizon. Click on the constellation icon above the image to see an early morning view of the rising Milky Way, planets Mars and Saturn, over the village.
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). Tunc Tezel

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