Curiosity is one of the main reasons we are different from other species. We explore the universe out of curiosity, not for our immediate physical needs. However in many cases it also changes our daily world with new technology and better understanding of nature.
Here I was at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on the Canary island of La Palma, a paradise for stargazing and the location for my annual photography workshop called Astromaster (next in May 2018, babaktafreshi.com/lapalma). The night sky is reflected on a 17-meter mirror of MAGIC telescope which observes gamma rays indirectly (as they are blocked in the atmosphere) by detecting brief flashes of optical light, called Cherenkov light. @natgeocreative@natgeo@natgeotravel@twanight#astronomy#astrophotography#longexposure#nightphotography#twanight#observatory#science#exploration#lapalma#canaryislands#spain
Today is the 25th anniversary of my first night sky photography on the 1992 Dec 9 exceptionally dark lunar eclipse. It was a total failure which revealed the 14yr old boy in Tehran how challenging, and exciting, is astrophotography. I found a new hobby to release my teenagehood endless energy outdoor in nature, never knew this will be my way of life, taking me to all continents for many sleepless nights under stars.
This was one of those nights a few years ago on Cerro Paranal Observatory in Chile. I’m reaching for stars, exploring one of the darkest skies left on this planet.
The 12 Apostles rocks on the coast of Victoria, Australia. On this moonlit evening, the dazzling Venus is at top with Jupiter below it. These are the two brightest planets in the Earth sky. Those with detective eyes see a strange “<“ shape object at top-center! This is comet Comet PanSTARRS (C/2014 Q1) back in July 2015. We have one of these naked-eye comets every year or so while they visit the inner Solar System. The “Great Comets” are rare, once a decade in average.
Continuing with faces in nature, how many of them do you recognize here? An example of Pareidolia, when our brain detect faces in irrelevant contexts such as rocks. Neuroscience can explain it today. The need of face-detection in human society has solely developed a part of our brain. @natgeocreative@natgeo@natgeotravel@twanight#twanight#comet#nightsky#astrophotography#nightphotography#longexposure#astronomy#venus#jupiter#australia#victoria#greatoceanroad#12apostles
Swipe left to see this 3-part panorama. See the entire image on the 4th slide. The Grand Canyon offers extremely dramatic scenes when you catch the right time and light. This after sunset view from west (pic 1) to east (3) has captured the yellow-red light of early twilight illuminating the canyon on the right, and the blue-purple color of the rising Earth shadow on the right, at the opposite horizon (east). On the right (3) an extinct volcano is located near the edge.
At 446 km long the Grand Canyon on the Arizona-Utah border is the longest canyon on Earth (not the deepest), a steep-sided gorge carved by the Colorado River steadily in several million years time span. Google “dreamview 102813” to see a larger view of the entire panorama on my website. @natgeo@natgeocreative@natgeotravel#panorama#twilight#bluehour#dusk#atmosheric#grandcanyon#arizona
The Full Moon rising above the Boston light, located on an island 9 miles (14km) offshore Boston. Enjoy the full moon this evening and tomorrow. The Sunday moon is also the year’s only supermoon as the full moon comes close enough to Earth (222,443 miles or 357,987 km). But don’t be fooled with this exciting term! Supermoons are just less than 14% larger than an average full moon, not even noticeable by most observers. The reason behind our experience of seeing huge moon rising is the so-called Moon Illusion, a beautiful perception made in our brain with objects celestial objects on the horizon specially when seen with an Earthly familiar foreground. If you photograph the moon on the horizon and up in the sky, they are at the same size.
A supermoon may also bring the largest tides of the year. But this gravitational pull is far less effective than the force needed to trigger massive earthquakes, flooding, or volcanic eruptions. So there is no proven relation between these. Search “what is a supermoon” on skyandtelescope.com for an interesting article. S&T is internationally the most respected astronomy magazine (since 1941), based in Cambridge MA, and I’m a regular contributor to it. @natgeo@natgeocreative@natgeotravel@twanight#twanight#fullmoon#supermoon#astrophotography#nightphotography#boston#bostonlight#massachusetts#newengland