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Sailing Stones

By: Babak A. Tafreshi

 

Region: Americas

Site: Death Valley - USA

Date: 2018 Dec 12

In the remote Racetrack Playa of Death Valley National Park in California, one of the mysterious Sailing Stones sits under stunningly starry sky with Sirius, the brightest star of the Earth night sky, and constellation Orion (top-right). On the horizon is the glow of Los Angeles, still faintly visible from 190 miles (300 km) away. These moving rocks, originated from the nearby mountains, are a geological phenomenon. They naturally move along this high altitude smooth valley floor on very thin night-time surface ice sheets that are driven by wind.
Death Valley is an International Dark Sky Park, preserving its natural night environment despite being in accessible distance to Las Vegas and Los Angeles. The Park is largely free of its own sources of light pollution.

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