Starry Night of Damghan Desert

By: Oshin D. Zakarian


Region: Middle East

Site: Damghan - Iran

Date: 2011 January 3

Winter stars and the Milky Way are photographed in the starry sky of the desert near Damghan, a historic city of Iran. Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, is near the southeastern horizon. Prominent figure of constellation Orion stands above it, and the "V" of Taurus and the Pleiades star cluster are at top. The structure in the foreground is ruins of a water reservoir made besides a large desert caravansary on the Silk Road, in an ancient city known as Qumis (or Hecatompylos as recorded by Greek historians). Qumis is now buried under the desert but once was the amazing city of "hundred gates" founded 2300 years ago during Seleucid kingdom of ancient Persia. The city's area was about 28 kmē at its peak, which would indicate a population in the tens of thousands. Oshin Zakarian/

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