Babak Tafreshi@babaktafreshi

@natgeo night sky photographer | The World at Night founder @twanight saving dark skies & natural nights | Science Journalist | Workshops/Tours/Prints

Petroglyphs are some of the most ancient works of art left by humankind. The long route of visual storytelling takes us from these rocks to the virtual walls of Instagram today.
Some cultures such as Native Americans continued the rock art to the 20th century. Here in a dark starry night of Utah’s Indian Creek area, constellation Orion stands above the Newspaper Rock, one of the largest known panels of Native American petroglyphs with carvings as old as 2,000 years old, left by people of Archaic, Fremont, Navajo, Anglo, and Pueblo cultures. The entire area is an amazing mix of natural landmarks and similar cultural sites some in the Bears Ears National Monument which was controversially reduced 85% in size by President Trump in Dec 2017, making vulnerable public lands available to industry.
#petroglyphs #rockart #nativeamerican #utah #newspaperrock #nightphotography #twanight @twanight @natgeocreative


Viva Planet Earth!
Swipe left for the entire panoramic view of the full moon setting, just before sunrise when hundreds of seabirds flying from their nesting place in the islands near Rio de Janeiro to inland and the city’s seashore. Some of these huge frigatebirds have 2 meters wingspan.
An image from 2011 visit to Brazil. Miss this beautiful country. #riodejaneiro #brazil #fullmoon #atmospheric #twanight #birds @natgeocreative @natgeotravel


The end of ASTROMASTER 2018 photo workshop on La Palma, Canary Islands with a neat drone footage by @dr.puya
I had an amazing group this year from 14 nations, all with the same passion to enjoy & photograph the night sky. Great pleasure to have Swiss astronaut Claude Nicollier in the class.
Next Astromaster in May 2019 (2 spots left):
or follow my profile link


A few nights ago under the stunningly starry sky on top of La Palma, Canary Islands, overlooking the island’s giant volcanic caldera filled with low clouds. The star cluster on the top left is M7 in constellation Scorpion.
This is during my 2018 Astromaster photo workshop. Next one in May 2019 (4 spots left). (or follow my bio link)
This is certainly one of the best places in Europe for stargazing. Google “stargazing natgeo” for my @natgeo web article on the top 10 World’s Best Stargazing Sites, a personal favorite list based on 2 decades of night photography in all continents.
#twanight #astrophotography #nightphotography #longexposure #canaryislands #spain #milkyway @twanight @natgeocreative @natgeotravel


A moonlit night of La Palma, Canary Islands, with full blooming Echium wildpretii (locally called Tajinaste in Spanish). These 1-3 meters tall flowers became almost extinct a few decades ago on La Palma by rabbits and human, but now preserved and growing in number.
This is from last night at 2018 Astromaster photo workshop. Next one in May 2019 (4 spots left). (or follow my bio link)
#twanight #echium #flowers #astrophotography #nightphotography #longexposure #canaryislands #spain @twanight @natgeocreative @natgeotravel


The crescent Moon and Venus set above an ocean of clouds, last night at my annual ASTROMASTER photo workshop on La Palma, Canary Islands. It has been a great session so far with 16 photographers from ~10 countries, including ESA astronaut Claude Nicollier who was on the Hubble Space Telescope service missions.
Join me on next Astromaster in May 2019: (or follow my profile link)
#twanight @twanight
#astronomy #astrophotography #nightphotography #longexposure @natgeocreative @natgeotravel


Swipe left for the panorama. My photography session often ends at this moment, when the “blue hour” begins before sunrise. Here in a spectacular morning of May, Mount Teide volcano rises over flower-filled landscape of Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. The Earth shadow appears in blue over the horizon. Teide National Park is a World Heritage Site with the peak reaching 3718 meters above sea level and about 7500 m above the floor of the Atlantic which makes Teide the highest point on this Ocean.
I’m heading to the Canary Islands next week for my annual Astromaster workshop, a master class on night sky photography. Next one in May 2019:

#twanight @twanight #panorama #teidenationalpark #tenerife #canaryislands #spain #bluehour @natgeocreative


Seeing a truly dark sky is an experience you will not forget in your entire life. Look forward to return to La Palma next week for my annual master workshop, in the European stargazing paradise island. It’s always exciting to meet the participants coming from around the world.
The May 2019 Astromaster is announced today:
(or click my profile link, then workshops)
This is my most inquired program and with limited spots it is often booked out months in advance.
Photographed here is the bright galactic core in constellations Scorpius & Sagittarius from the edge of the massive caldera in La Palma, during Astromaster 2015. Bright Venus and fading dusk are on the right.

#twanight @twanight
#astrophotography #nightphotography #nightsky #longexposure #milkyway #canaryislands #spain @natgeocreative


Swipe left to see this 2-part panorama of Utah’s Delicate Arch at sunset. About 60 ft (18m) high, this iconic landmark of the US southwest is in the Arches National Park.
#utah #southwest #nationalparks #sunset #archesnationalpark


Between 1997 and 2011, while still living in Tehran, I was also teaching practical astronomy and had about a thousand students, some were teenagers who later continued their passion to the night sky in universities around the world. A few became my good friends and colleagues. University of Arizona young astronomer Irene Shivaei @irenestory is one of them who I’m very proud of.
She appears here standing on moonlit sand dunes under a universe of stars, a decade ago in Iran, dreaming of her future.
Irene recently received the prestigious @nasa Hubble Fellowship for her studies of galaxy evolution. A long way from teenagehood stargazing @zaferaniehobservatory in Tehran to working with the world’s most powerful telescopes.


Aban meets the Moon! With his parents both in love with the night sky, our one year old baby warmly greets his new friend. See today story for more.
@shadihamedi #moonlight #astronomy


Night hides a world but reveals a universe. Walking under stars inside a narrow gorge at dark is an amazing experience. You truly feel connected to a planet in the galactic ocean. Here in the Capitol Reef National Park of Utah the night sky is still pristine and preserved from growing light pollution. Bright stars of the Summer Triangle (Vega, Deneb, Altair) appear in the center. The little red patch in the Milky Way is the North America Nebula.
#twanight @twanight
#capitolreefnationalpark #utah #astrophotography #nightphotography #milkyway #twanight @natgeocreative


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