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Space Image: Star Trails over Atacama Desert Cacti

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Posted May 13, 2014

This gorgeous photograph, taken in the Atacama Desert in Chile, shows star trails circling the South Celestial Pole, over a cacti-dominated still landscape. The star trails show the apparent path of the stars in the sky as the Earth slowly rotates, and are captured by taking long-exposure shots.

Image credit: ESO/B. Tafreshi (twanight.org)

Image credit: ESO/B. Tafreshi (twanight.org)

A final deeper exposure was superimposed over the magnificent trails, revealing many more, fainter stars and, just rising above the horizon, the southern Milky Way, with its patches of dark dust and the well-known pinkish glow of the Carina Nebula. Towards the right, the satellite galaxies of the Milky Way, the Large (top-centre) and Small (bottom-right) Magellanic Clouds, can also be seen.

Source: ESO

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