Babak Tafreshi@babaktafreshi

@natgeo night sky photographer | The World at Night founder @twanight saving dark skies & natural nights | Science Journalist | Learn Astrophotography

Following my last week post, this is another view of Jupiter above the Grand Canyon, gently lit by the moon. The telephoto image shows three of the Galilean Moons if you zoom in (swipe left to the next slide). Yesterday Carnegie Institute astronomers announced discovery of 12 new moons of Jupiter, to the total of 79 known satellites, more than any other planet in the Solar System.
#twanight #jupiter #nightphotography #astrophotography #astronomy #grandcanyon @twanight @natgeocreative


Above a lighthouse on the coast of Maine, northeastern US, the Big Dipper appears prominently, resembling a question mark. Polaris, the North Stars, is on the light’s left side.
@natgeocreative @twanight #astrophotography #nightphotography #lighthouse #bigdipper #maine


Swipe left for the panoramic view.
A summer evening at Moskva River near the Red Square, July 2008. The moon hangs low in the sky next to Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. On the right is Kremlin.
Moscow hosted about a million tourists during the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia with the final match happening in a few hours.
#fifaworldcup #moscow #russia #twilight #nightphotography #twanight @twanight @natgeocreative


Jupiter is a bright object in the Earth sky, being the largest planet in our system. In a clear night like this moonlit one above Grand Canyon, Jupiter is dazzling. The second slide, through my small 5-inch telescope, shows how we see the 4 large Galilean Moons. You can even resolve them with a telephoto lens (minimum 400mm). Swipe left to the last slide through the eyes of Hubble Space Telescope with stunning details of the gas giant planet. Every now and then astronomers discover new moons around Jupiter, stay tuned for an exciting news next week!
Find Jupiter these nights from dusk to midnight over West-Southwest. Note that Venus is even brighter but sets quickly after dusk. Mars is also currently bright and appears red over east in the evening and at west in the morning.
@twanight @natgeocreative #twanight #jupiter #nightphotography #astrophotography #astronomy #grandcanyon


World Population Day
In every seven of us in average, one is from China and one from India, nations with over a billion population. While this creates cultural permanence it also brings greater responsibilities, when facing global issues such as human overpopulation and our limited natural resources. The next five most populous nations are the US, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan and Nigeria (327 to 186 millions). Filmed here is a timelapse of people at dawn walking up the sacred Mt Tai or Taishan in China, to see the sunrise. Venus is shining at the upper right.
Music: Vivaldi, The Four Seasons.
#worldpopulationday #population #nightphotography #timelapse #taishan #china #twanight @twanight @natgeocreative


The Perseids are coming in August. My next photo workshop will be on Aug 10-13 in Sierra mountains, California, during this major Meteor Shower, one of the year’s best sky events. Also with bright summer Milky Way and Mars at its closest to the Earth. Together with @mikeshawphotography we will do a 3-day classroom and 3-night imaging course on astro-photography, timelapse, and editing. We will be in Mammoth Lakes area, 5-6 hr drive from LA, Vegas, or the Bay Area. Two spots are left. (link in my profile)

#twanight #meteorshower #meteor #astronomy #stargazing #nightphotography #longexposure #astrophotography @natgeocreative @twanight


A night begins in Rio with a strong appearance of crepuscular rays (atmospheric phenomenon) in early dusk. The iconic Cristo statue (Christ the Redeemer) is on the right, overlooking the city from the top of Corcovado peak.
#riodejaneiro #brazil #sunset #atmospheric #nightphotography @natgeocreative


Walking at dark among these giants is a spectacular experience. Sequoia trees grow to height of 50–85 m (164–279 ft), equal to a 15-30 story building! Their only natural habitat is the western Sierras in California.
Up in the sky in this pitch-black forest night is bright star Capella, constellations Perseus and Gemini, and Andromeda Galaxy near the top (little elongated halo), our neighbor galaxy larger the Milky Way and easily visible to the naked eye in a dark sky. From a great imaging trip with my colleague @yuribeletsky.
@twanight @natgeocreative
#twanight #nightphotography #astrophotography #kingscanyonnationalpark #sierranevada #sequoia #california


My latest contribution to National Geographic Fine Art galleries @natgeofineart (
Moonlight, the sound of ocean waves, and silhouette of giant sea stacks on the southern coast of Australia. A great imaging trip with my Melbourne-based colleague @alxcherney in July 2015.
Phone wallpapers of this scene are on my today story. Hold your finger on the screen until the icons disappear, then screenshot and save.
#12apostles #greatoceanroad #victoria #australia #nightphotography #longexposure #twanight @twanight @natgeocreative


A peaceful late summer night 20 years ago when I was 20 years old, working as an editor in Iranian astronomy magazine (, studying physics in Tehran, and often traveling to Alborz Mountains for stargazing. This is the longest single exposure image I’ve done, 9 hours on film from dusk to dawn. The Earth rotation constantly rotates the sky above us and a long exposure shows this with star trails. When pointed north they circle around the north celestial pole, marked by Polaris. Here you see the North Star is not exactly on the pole, but about one degree off. Polaris is not one of the brightest stars in our night sky but its well located to roughly mark the north. Note the various colors of stars in the constellations Ursa Major and Ursa Minor.
@twanight @natgeocreative #twanight #longexposure #nightphotography #astrophotography #startrails #alamut


This weekend if you are in Southern California my colleague and best friend @oshindzakarian, a master of night photography, is doing his Art Night Sky photo workshop in Joshua Tree National Park, 2-3hr from LA, an opportunity to shoot the Milky Way and many more with an instructor who practiced this for 2 decades. We did many trips together.
Contact @oshindzakarian if you wish to join him on Saturday night July 7. #nightphotography #astrophotography #milkyway #longexposure


Swipe left for the panoramic view.
On this Sep 2008 night I was inside a sacred cave facing Geghard Monastery, a World Heritage Site in Armenia. The church is being partially made like a hidden temple in the rock, carved out of the adjacent mountain, surrounded by magnificent towering cliffs. The moments inside the cave was surreal. The setting Moon was shedding light on the deeply silent forest, while the bright star Vega was shining above the monastery. On the cave’s right side people had left vows, little pieces of cloth hanging from the trees.
On astronomy side, being 25 light years away, Vega is one of the nearest stars with possible planets. Also an iconic star in science fiction, for example in Contact (a Carl Sagan novel) which turned to a fantastic film with Jodie Foster in 1997.
@twanight @natgeocreative @natgeotravel
#twanight #nightphotography #astrophotography #astronomy #vega #geghard #armenia #worldheritage