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Stellar Wilderness in Southern Skies

Posted May 10, 2019

Watching the tranquil serenity of this picture, it is hard to believe the violent origin of the bright stars visible in that part of the sky. These very young and very hot stars were born in the wake of a tremendous shockwave barreling through this region of the Milky Way only a few dozen million years ago. A shockwave which triggered the formation of the so-called Sco-Cen OB association.

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The part of the Sco-Cen OB association seen in this picture belongs to the constellation Lupus. Lupus, the Wolf, is visible now at the southern horizon around midnight if you live in latitudes below 40 degrees north. This would be everywhere south of Madrid, Beijing or Philadelphia.

Project nightflight shot this image on La Palma at latitude 28 north on the night of June 10, 2017. The waning gibbous moon had just risen a few minutes before. It beautifully illuminated the island’s volcanic landscape from the left and gave the sky its iridescent blue tinge.


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