Trails Through the Night Sky

Although this appears to be a daytime scene, star trails circle and illuminate the night sky in this long-exposure photo of Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO), a Program of NSF’s NOIRLab. The telescope visible at the highest peak is the Nicholas U. Mayall 4-meter Telescope and almost directly above it, at the center of the concentric star trails, sits the North Star, Polaris. As the Earth turns and the stars appear to move through the sky, Polaris remains stationary at the north celestial pole, our planet’s axis of rotation. The lights of Tucson, Arizona, glow yellow on the horizon about 89 kilometers (55 miles) to the northeast. The NOIRLab citizen science campaign Globe at Night enables stargazers of all ages to help monitor their city’s light pollution no matter where they are in the world.

Credit:

KPNO/NOIRLab/NSF/AURA

About the Image

Id:iotw2033a
Type:Photographic
Release date:Aug. 12, 2020, 7:01 a.m.
Size:5406 x 3552 px

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