Magnificent Sahara Milky Way

By: Babak A. Tafreshi


Region: Africa

Site: Tassili National park - Algeria

Date: June 2009

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The magnificent Milky Way stretches above African Sahara, in the remote Tassili National Park in the southern Algeria near Niger border. Click on the little star-pattern icon above the image to see the constellation figures in the view. Notable on the right, is bright star Antares or Alpha Scorpii, the heart of scorpion. Antares is a red supergiant star in the Milky Way galaxy. With a diameter of approximately 800 times that of the sun if it were placed in the center of our solar system, its outer surface would lie between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Antares name derives from an Ancient Greek word meaning "against Ares (Mars)" due to the similarity of its reddish hue to the appearance of the planet Mars.
Tassili National Park is a World Heritage Site in the heart of Sahara desert. Prehistoric skygazers surely witnessed a similar sky. In addition to dramatic sandstone formations, the Tassili region is noted for rock paintings and archaeological sites dating to neolithic times. Babak Tafreshi/

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