Photo by @babaktafreshi
The World at Night project
In a typical moonless night deep in the Atacama Desert of Chile you are under an ocean of stars. Here you look all around the horizon and there is no prominent sign of city lights. Not many locations left on this planet where you can still experience a dark sky like this. I have been to greatest dark skies in other continents from the heart of Sahara to Himalayas or islands in the Pacific. But what makes Atacama even better is being dry and clear for so many nights per year.
Photographed in 2011 on assignment for European Southern Observatory (ESO), here the southern sky appears above hill-top cactus in a high altitude area of the desert. Canopus, the second brightest star in the night sky, is near the center, next to the Magellanic Clouds (Milky Way’s satellite galaxies). They appear here as visible to the naked eye. The iconic Southern Cross, the smallest constellation in the sky, is right above the hill.
Read about my favorite dark sky location on “World’s Best Stargazing Sites” published on natgeo.com (google natgeo stargazing) and follow me @babaktafreshi for more.
@natgeo @natgeocreative #atacama #chile #nightsky #milkyway #southernsky #astrophotography #longexposure #nightphotography #twanight #southerncross #canopus #cactus #darksky