Starry Night in Paradise

By: Babak A. Tafreshi


Region: Americas

Site: Iguacu - Brazil

Date: 2010 May 4

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As seen on Astronomy Picture of the Day and National Geographic the arc of the southern Milky Way shines brightly on this starry night. In the foreground of this gorgeous skyview is the rainforest near the spectacular Iguašu Falls and national park at the border of Brazil and Argentina. The World Heritage Iguacu includes 275 falls spreading across 3 kilometers of Iguacu river and is widely considered as one of the new Seven Wonders of the world. Looking skyward along the Milky Way's arc from the left are Alpha and Beta Centauri, the Coalsack, the Southern Cross, and the Carina Nebula. Sirius, brightest star in planet Earth's night sky is at the far right. Brilliant Canopus, second brightest star in the night, and our neighboring galaxies the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, are also included in the scene. For help finding them, just click on the constellation icon above the image to see the labels. Much closer to home, lights near the center along the horizon are from Argentina's Iguaz˙ Falls International Airport. As noted by the photographer "I was located on the northern side of Iguašu and a nice portion of the falls were visible. There were challenges to make TWAN photos here, besides the long travel. The area is very wet at this high water season and working at night with long exposures close to the falls damages the camera easily, and it's often foggy and cloudy. Staying in front of the roaring giant falls at night with Southern Milky Way and the Magellanic Clouds in front me and dense rainforest in my back was an experience to remember. After three night of overcast sky, the clear sky came but didn't last more than few hours but it was enough for a successful night adventure in this paradise." Babak Tafreshi/

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